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Tax News
Here Comes FATCA “Phishing”
September 25, 2014
Administrative Actions
It did not take long for sophisticated scam artists to start exploiting FATCA. A few weeks ago we reported the first indictment that we know of whereby several individuals allegedly were selling to overly-entrepreneurial U.S. individuals a runaround FATCA scheme.  Yesterday the IRS came out with a Phishing alert warning FFIs that there are scam artists out there who would call the institution pretending to be the IRS and asking for account information. Now, this IRS phishing scam has a long history here in the U.S. We would like to think that most U.S. residents and citizens know better than to provide information in reply to unsolicited “IRS” emails or phone calls. Simply, this is not how the IRS works.

The problem however is that the targets here are foreign institutions which may not know the IRS’ rules of contact and inner-workings. The scam has reached across continents and many IGA countries. While we would like to think that non-US persons will be as equally suspicious of such IRS contacts as US citizens would, we suspect that this may not be the case. We do not know whether any account info has been turned over to the scammers, but considering the apparent magnitude of the issue, it is safe to assume that it might have. So, if you receive an email, fax, or are redirected to an IRS website that looks suspect, please exercise caution. Here is the link to the IRS press release.
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Tags: FATCA, fatca fraud, fatca phishing