Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and the IRS warned residents Tuesday about an emerging scam using fraudulent email accounts targeting military personnel, military retirees and civilian employees.
The emails appear to offer additional funds from the IRS for those receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are sent from the "Defense Finanance and Accounting Services," and even display a .mil email domain. But Franchot and the IRS warned that the emails are a fraud and do not come from a legitimate government email address.
“We want to inform every Marylander of this scam,” said Franchot in a statement. “In these tough economic times, unscrupulous people prey on the vulnerabilities of others. While an unexpected windfall may sound mighty appealing, we urge Marylanders not to take the bait.”
The fake email prompts those receiving disability compensation from the VA to send copies of VA award letters, income tax returns, 1099-Rs, Retiree Account Statements and DD 214s to a colonel at an address in Florida in order to receive additional IRS funding, according to a statement from the Comptroller's office.
To protect yourself from scams, the Comptroller's office warned taxpayers to be wary of:
- Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on false statements of entitlement to tax credits
- Emails from unfamiliar senders asking for personal information
- Internet solicitation that directs individuals to toll-free numbers and then solicits Social Security numbers or other personal information
If you receive suspicious correspondence from the IRS or the Comptroller's office, contact the office to ask whether it's legitimate.