In new email phishing scam, hackers pose as IRS officials sending ACA tax bills

Hackers are impersonating the IRS and sending scam emails to victims asking them to pay balances related to health coverage for 2014, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The fraudulent emails pretend to be a CP-2000 notice from the IRS, a notice the agency sends to taxpayers if income or payment information does not match information provided on their tax returns. In the email phishing scheme, the scam emails say victims owe a balance related to the Affordable Care Act health coverage requirements, according to the report.

While many of these scams are in the form of emails, some individuals have received letters in the mail and some have received phone calls. Since October 2013, the Treasury Inspector for General Tax Administration, an IRS watchdog, said it has received more than 1.7 million complaints from people saying they have received phone calls from fraudsters impersonating IRS agents, and more than 8,800 individuals have paid more than $47 million to these scammers, according to the report.

The IRS is trying to curb the rate victims respond to these scams by reminding taxpayers it does not initiate contact by phone, email or text asking for personal or financial information, nor does it call about taxes owed without first mailing a bill.

Individuals who receive such phishing emails should not reply to the message, open attachments or click on links. The agency also asks that individuals forward the email to phishing@irs.gov and then delete it, according to the report.

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