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IRS Warns Financial Institutions of Scams Designed to Steal FATCA-Related Account Data

Posted by: Zaher Fallahi
Posted On: Sep 28, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has issued a fraud alert for international financial institutions complying with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).  Scam perpetrators masquerading as representing the IRS have fraudulently solicited financial institutions seeking account holder identity and financial account data.

The IRS does not require financial institutions to provide specific account holder identity information or financial account information over the phone or by fax or email.  Furthermore, the IRS does not ask for FATCA registration passwords or similar confidential account information. The IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has warned that “People should always be cautious before sending sensitive information to anyone.”

Financial institutions directly registered to comply with FATCA and those in jurisdictions that are treated as having in effect intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to implement FATCA through intergovernmental cooperation have been approached by persons posting as the IRS representatives.  The IRS has reports of such illegal acts initiated from many countries around the world.

These solicitations are called “phishing” scams and are typically carried out by the use of unsolicited emails, websites or telephone calls in order to fraudulently access personal or financial information.

Any solicitees that suspect they are the subject of a “phishing” scam should report the matter to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at  800-366-4484, or through TIGTA’s  secure website.  Any suspicious emails that contain links in them should not be opened, and should be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

For assistance with disclosing your undeclared foreign bank accounts (offshore voluntary disclosure program, OVDP), report of foreign bank & financial accounts (FBAR), foreign account tax compliance act (FATCA), tax preparation, tax planning,  tax audit IRS representation, and the US treasury office of foreign assets control (OFAC),  may contact Zaher Fallahi,  Los Angeles Tax Attorney, Los Angeles FBAR Attorney, Los Angeles OFAC Attorney, Los Angeles Tax CPA, Los Angeles Dental CPA,  at (310) 719-1040 and Orange County Tax Attorney, Orange County OFAC Attorney, Orange County FBAR Attorney, Orange County Tax CPA, Orange County Dental CPA, at (714) 546-4272 (Orange County) or e-mail: taxattorney@zfcpa.com