The Internal Revenue Service is warning that “scam artists” posing as members of the agency are using phone calls and faxes in an attempt to steal financial and account holder information from international financial institutions.
IRS officials issued a recent fraud alert on the matter, which revolves around the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The agency said that financial institutions directly registered to comply with FATCA have already been approached by individuals illegally claiming to be part of the IRS. What’s worse, the incidents have taken place in “multiple countries and continents” in what the IRS has said involves a new round of phishing scams.
The IRS, in its alert, cautions that there is no mandate in place for financial institutions to hand over specific account holder identify details or financial account information by way of phone or fax. What’s more, the agency doesn’t even solicit Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act registration passwords or related confidential account access information, it said.
Any financial institution that encounters this is encouraged to report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. The IRS also warns financial institutions to avoid opening any suspicious emails, and to forward them instead to firstname.lastname@example.org.