Just when you thought you were safe to access important and confidential information via the IRS website, it turns out scammers are at it again. According to reports from the IRS, thieves have managed to break into one of the government agency’s website services and steal the confidential information of thousands of taxpayers.
In fact, according to reports, the IRS says that the personal information of more than 100,000 taxpayers has been compromised. The idea behind the scam is to steal people’s private information in order to use the victims’ identities to then file false tax returns. The scam occurred through the IRS’s “Get Transcript” service, where taxpayers are able to access their returns and other filings from prior tax years.
According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen these scammers are not amateurs. They appear to part of a large criminal syndicate that is attacking the entire financial industry in an effort to defraud both taxpayers and the government of millions.
The IRS discovered the issue after technicians noticed a large bump in the number of taxpayers that were asking for transcripts. While this kind of elaborate tax fraud continues to increase, the IRS claims that so far this year tax scammers have successfully claimed less than $50 million via false tax returns. However this new threat appears to very complex and the information that has been stolen could also be used in future tax seasons to defraud the IRS and taxpayers out of even more money.