Tax season may be over, but that doesn’t mean scammers have gone on vacation — there’s no rest for the wicked.
The Internal Revenue Service sent out an alert on Thursday, warning international taxpayers and nonresident aliens that bad guys are now using a fake IRS Form W-8BEN to obtain detailed personal identification and bank account information from them.
These criminals mail or fax a letter saying that although the individual is exempt from withholding and reporting income tax, he or she needs to authenticate personal information by filling out what is in fact a bogus version of Form W-8BEN and then fax the information back. The communication also refers to a nonexistent “Form W9095.”
The IRS noted that it does not require a recertification of foreign status.
Every tax season, the agency publishes its “Dirty Dozen” list of schemes that taxpayers and professionals should be alert to, not only in the period running up to filing deadline but year round.