Friday, August 19, 2022


Beware of scam that impersonates IRS, FBI

The Internal Revenue Service is warning people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.

The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers.

“This is a new twist on an old scheme,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People should stay vigilant against email scams that try to impersonate the IRS and other agencies that try to lure you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. People with a tax issue won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call.”

Victims should not pay a ransom. Paying it further encourages the criminals, and frequently the scammers won’t provide the decryption key even after a ransom is paid.

Victims should immediately report any ransomware attempt or attack to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, Forward any IRS-themed scams to

The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. For more information, visit the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page on Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube videos.



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Rory Roberts
3 years ago

These scams can be avoided basically because the IRS, and FBI does not make phone calls. There are several phone apps that have a DB of telemarketers and Scam artists, that will allow you to block or be warned (your choice) calls from scams and telemarketers. They have both free and paid versions. I have been using “Hiya” the free version for about a year now. It has reduced annoying calls form telemarketers by at least 75%. I got a call from one of the IRS scammers, reported it to the DB and never heard from them again. If you set it to warn you, it gives you a msg that this call is from a potential telemarketer/scammer. I set mine that way for several weeks then just changed it to block, which it does well.

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