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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > March 2011 > Beware of tax scams

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Beware of tax scams


Filing income tax returns is an annual task that few enjoy. But be careful! During tax season, some scam artists use the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) name or logo to try to steal unsuspecting consumers’ financial information.

A Franklin County resident said he received an e-mail message that appeared to be from the IRS. The e-mail indicated that the consumer was late in submitting his W-2 form and instructed him to click on a link to send the updated form. Fortunately, the consumer recognized that the e-mail was a scam, and he did not click on the link nor provide any personal information.

Watch for signs of a tax scam, including:

  • Messages from the "IRS" about a problem with your tax forms.
  • Requests for personal information, such as your Social Security number.
  • Tax forms or letters that indicate you have won a lottery or sweepstakes.
  • Instructions to click on links that may direct you to a third-party website.
  • Poor grammar or illogical statements.
  • Threats that you will not receive your tax refund if you fail to respond.

Remember that the IRS will not ask for your personal information via e-mail, so you should not click on any links in the message. Forward suspicious “IRS” e-mails to


Get tax information – IRS

Report scams to the Ohio Attorney General's Office

File a consumer complaint – Ohio Attorney General’s Office 

Request a free Consumer Awareness Workshop – Ohio Attorney General

To sign up to receive the Consumer Advocate Newsletter – Ohio Attorney General