Fake IRS emails flooding inboxes

Tim Caminos
Tim Caminos
James Kerr
James Kerr

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The emails claim to be Internal Revenue Service notifications, saying your tax appeal is rejected or declined, and claiming the sender is the IRS. But it isn't.

"They're cloaking themselves, in this case, in the look and feel of a legitimate organization, which is the IRS," said James Kerr, owner of SuperGeeks.

Phishing scams happen all the time, but this one cranks up during tax season. The senders bank on hooking people anxious about their tax returns by using different pitches.

"You have a problem with your taxes. You're not going to get your tax return back. Or if you want your tax return processed, you need to give us this information," said Tim Caminos, director of communications for Hawaii's Better Business Bureau.

The fraudsters want your financial and personal information. They'll ask you to fill out fake forms that look a lot like the real thing.

Kerr said phishing scammers are getting more sophisticated.

"There's a ton of money to be made there, on the dark side," he said. "They're attracting some pretty bright people to make sure they're good at it."

We're all vulnerable, but Caminos said certain groups are more likely to fall for the fake IRS notices.

"With taxes, a lot of times it's actually foreigners, people that are new citizens or senior citizens," he said.

The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers, to request personal or financial information through emails or social media tools.

Kerr said if you're getting these messages, don't open them, and hit delete.

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