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Is "IRS TYPE: USATAXPYMT ID: 000 CO: IRS" fraud?

Written by Jemina Owen-Jones

May 18th, 2024

The Fake Internal Revenue Service Receipt Scam

Molly Thompson was a mid-level corporate executive with an entrenched daily routine. One day, her world was suddenly turned upside down when she noticed a peculiar listing on her bank statement labeled '"IRS TYPE: USATAXPYMT ID: 000 CO: IRS".' Apparently, a significant amount of money had been withdrawn from her account and was tagged with 'Internal Revenue Service' as the payee.

Believing it to be a mere banking error, Molly dashed an email to the bank, but soon after, received a call supposedly from the 'Internal Revenue Service.' The person on the line posed as an IRS representative, verifying the transaction and convinced her to log into a hyperlink provided to confirm her details. The scammer on the other end of the line was persuasive, sounding professional, and Molly, stricken with worry, obeyed.

It wasn't until after she had disclosed her login credentials that she received a notification from her bank. It was an alert for another withdrawal. The realization was swift and gut-wrenching. She'd been tricked and her account had been compromised.

In a flurry of panic, Molly immediately contacted her bank, closed down her compromised accounts, and started new, secure ones. With the guidance of her bank, she reported the unidentified transaction to law enforcement and the actual IRS. It was a harrowing experience, leaving her shaken but wiser.

Determined not to be a victim again, Molly discovered the SimplyWise app. Downloading it and becoming a regular user, she found it invaluable for tracking receipts and monitoring her financial transactions closely. It provided another layer of security, allowing her to detect suspicious activity before it could become a major scam.

How to Protect Yourself from Scams and Fraudulent Receipts

Scams can occur to anyone and they have become increasingly sophisticated. Therefore, it is crucial to stay on guard. Here are some steps to keep in mind:

1. Verify Emails: Always check the sender's email address carefully. A tiny typo or an odd-looking address can often expose a scam.

2. Avoid Clicking Links: Instead of clicking links in emails, access the official website by typing the URL into your browser.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication: This is an extra layer of protection for your accounts that goes beyond the simple username and password security.

4. Monitor Your Accounts: Check your bank and credit card statements regularly to catch any unauthorized or suspicious transactions swiftly.

5. Report Suspicious Activity: Upon receiving a questionable email or identifying unauthorized transactions, report it to the respective company and your bank immediately.

6. Use SimplyWise: The SimplyWise app assists you in managing your receipts and detecting unusual activities. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Download SimplyWise

Download the SimplyWise app and connect your email account. SimplyWise will search through your emails and find all the receipts in your inbox. This allows you to understand what exactly you are paying for when you see a bank transaction on your statement.

Step 2: Connect your Accounts

Connect to your bank account/credit card transactions through the secure (256 bit encryption) Reconciliation feature within the app.

Step 3: Reconcile

Reconcile the charges reported by your financial institution against what you’ve recorded in your SimplyWise account. Find fraud quickly! SimplyWise will match your transactions to your bank/credit card spending and check those items off.

Find fraud quickly!

SimplyWise will match your transactions to your bank/credit card spending and check those items off.

By staying informed and cautious, you can protect yourself from falling victim to similar scams. With tools like SimplyWise, you can add an extra layer of security to your financial life. Precisely, it makes tracking, managing receipts, and detecting fraudulent activity easier. Having a safety net like SimplyWise can give you peace of mind against sophisticated scams which can target anyone, from corporate executives like Molly to college students, from homemakers to retirees.

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