FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Monday, February 13, 2012
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215
Attorney General Jackley Warns of Tax Refund Scams
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley today warned consumers to watch for emails that claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but are actually scams designed to obtain personal identifying information. Consumers should proceed with caution when visiting websites that either associate themselves with the IRS or have the appearance of the IRS site.
“Consumers are working to complete their tax filing requirements and these scam artists are trying desperately to catch them off guard,” said Jackley. “The IRS does not communicate with individuals via email with tax filing problems, so avoid clicking links on suspicious email messages.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received many examples of these email messages from across the state. The email indicates that the consumer has a penalty due for failure to file an income tax return. The consumer is then asked to click on a link to provide further information. Bogus emails with the words IRS or government tend to make consumers believe they are coming from the federal government. The IRS does not send out unsolicited emails or ask for personal identifying information. If you receive an email that uses the IRS name call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to verify.
The official IRS website is www.irs.gov, but the look-alike sites which use a few different keystrokes are set up to redirect consumers to bogus websites. Once redirected to the fraudulent site the consumer will be asked to disclose personal information such as social security or bank account numbers. It is important to remember the official IRS website offers tax information for consumers, but the exchange of private financial information is limited. Use precaution when logging on to the IRS website and double check your internet address to ensure it is correct.
If you have been a victim of one of these scams or need any additional information contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or http://atg.sd.gov/Consumers.aspx.