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Author Topic: Does the IRS send e-mails ?  (Read 5516 times)

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« on: November 19, 2014, 17:10 »
I am from Belgium, so I only know the IRS from the tax forms for Shutterstock etc.

I just got an e-mail going like this :

Application for a not ordinary resident (non-resident) saver to receive interest without tax taken off or deducted.
Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America Tax reporting and withholdings, on interest paid you on your account and other financial dealing to protect your exemption from tax on your account and other financial benefit in rectifying your exemption status.
Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing W-8BEN FORM, and return to us as soon as possible via fax number enclosed on W-8BEN FORM.
If you are a USA Citizen and resident, this W-8BEN FORM is not meant for you, please indicate USA Citizen/Resident on the form and return it to us. We shall then send you a form W9095.
When completing W-8BEN FORM, please follow the steps below
1. We need you to provide your permanent address if different from the current mailing address on your W-8BEN FORM , you must indicate if a non-USA resident, your country of origin to support your non-resident status (if your bank account or other financial dealing has a USA address for mailing purpose).
2. If any joint account holder are now USA residents or Citizen, or in any way subject to USA tax reporting laws, Please check the box in this section.
3. Please have all account holders sign and date the form separately and fax it to the above-mentioned number.
Please, complete W-8BEN FORM attached and return to us within 1 (one) week from the receipt of this letter by faxing it, to enable us update your records immediately if your account or any other financial benefits are not rectified in a timely manner, it will be subject to USA tax reporting and back up withholding (if back up withholding applies, we are required to withhold 30% of the interest paid to you).
What you need to do
Print out the attached notification and complete the attached W-8BEN FORM and Fax same along with a copy of your international passport to fax number on the form within 7 working days.

Is this real?
First of all I would think they already have several W-8BEN forms of me, through Shutterstock and other agencies.
Then why this e-mail ?  Phishing?

Any US citizens who can tell me if the IRS sends e-mails?  I never get one from Belgian taxes  ;D


« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 17:22 »
Sure sounds like a scam, simply judging by the awful grammar.

« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 17:23 »
Here are five things the IRS wants you to know about phishing scams:

The IRS doesnt ask for detailed personal and financial information like PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail and wont send a message about your tax account. If you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to be the IRS or directing you to an IRS site:

Do not reply to the message.

Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain malicious code that will infect your computer.

Do not click on any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious e-mail or phishing website and entered confidential information, visit the IRS website and enter the search term 'identity theft' for more information and resources to help.

The address of the official IRS website is http://www.irs.gov. Do not be confused or misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. If you discover a website that claims to be the IRS but you suspect it is bogus, do not provide any personal information on the suspicious site and report it to the IRS.

If you receive a phone call, fax or letter in the mail from an individual claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine if the IRS has a legitimate need to contact you. Report any bogus correspondence.

You can help shut down these schemes and prevent others from being victimized. Details on how to report specific types of scams and what to do if youve been victimized are available at http://www.irs.gov, keyword phishing.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 17:26 by rimglow »

« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 18:31 »
I went to IRS.gov and search for the form. The search first entry came back with information on a scam:

Here is a link to the W-8BEN form on the IRS.gov web site. It doesn't have a FAX number that I can see.

You are being scammed.

« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 01:54 »
1000x thanks for that!  I did notice the strange language, but was not sure it was "poor grammar" or "very official law talk".   If English is not your mother language, it's difficult to see the difference!  :(

Fortunately I did not open the attachment (though my fingers were itching to do so), and I have not replied, so I think I'm OK.

Thanks again!

Uncle Pete

« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 02:46 »
If you haven't deleted the attachment yet, you will see it's not a PDF or a link it's an EXE file, which if opened will install some tracking software or one of those Russian viruses that take over your system, until you pay them money.

Anyway, see all of the above. It's a scam.

Please forward to the IRS so they can deal with these people.

« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 02:58 »
Too late, just deleted it, and even emptied my trash can  ;D
But I'm sure I'll get more of these, so I'll send the next one to the IRS!

« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2016, 18:43 »
here is maybe another way to prevent future scams from happening..
use a different email , if ever, for your confidential dealings with IRS,
something different from your regular emails with friends,
and again, an entire different email for ss, is, etc..
and even more with moneybroker or paypal or whatever.

this way, the only email you use for irs would perharps be the one you give to your bank.

and use one email for everything, ..ie. friends, fb, msg,etc..
if ever you get a scam email, it definitely won't be from the one you gave irs and the bank..
because no one else would have it.

and if you do receive anything, you can go to your bank and irs office to ask if they indeed send emails.. which is in most cases, the answer  is no. i don't even think the bank or irs would call either. most times, you get a formal letter, with a reference number..
which has a papertrail to eg your last irs returns, or your bank account with ******###
or something like that so you know it is from them due to the confidential precaution.

and a phone number to call which of course would be the same official number on all your bank statement,etc.. and address.
if all fails, i always go to the bank or irs office... never email or even call them.
to be safe than sorry.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 18:46 by etudiante_rapide »

« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2016, 22:23 »

and use one email for everything, ..ie. friends, fb, msg,etc..
if ever you get a scam email, it definitely won't be from the one you gave irs and the bank..
because no one else would have it.

I would not totally rely on this.   Some of these scammers "auto generate" emails like auto dialing a phone.  It's possible that they could come up with yours just through random chance.  I think you have a good idea, though, they would be a lot less likely to "find" one that you never gave out to anybody than one that lots of people have.


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