Scammers are posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents and sending emails with fake tax bills and transcripts to Arkansans, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.


These malicious emails often include an attachment that is not a document from the IRS but rather something harmful that will infect the user’s computer with vicious malware once it is opened. The email may even threaten Arkansans with arrest if payment is not received immediately using a gift card, prepaid debit card or wire transfer.


“The IRS will never send unsolicited emails or accept payment from a prepaid gift card or wire transfer,” Rutledge said. “This scam to dupe Arkansans out of their hard-earned money, or steal their personal information, is just one more shameful attempt by criminals to line their own pockets.”


Rutledge issued the following tips for anyone who receives an email from someone claiming to be from the IRS:


• Do not reply to the email.


• Do not open any attachments which can contain malicious code that may infect computers or mobile phones.


• Do not click on any links.


• Delete the original email.


Consumers who receive this scam via email should forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.


For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.