Scammers have come up with a new way to steal personal and financial information from non-resident aliens and international taxpayers. Fraudsters send letters to people asking them to fill out fake alternate Forms W-8BEN, a form usually used by taxpayers who are not U.S. citizens. Taxpayers end up revealing passport numbers, PINs and other info that aid scammers in stealing their identities.
Keep in mind: The IRS doesn’t require taxpayers to recertify their foreign status. Also, the real Form W-8BEN does not ask for passport numbers and PINs. If you believe you received a phony IRS letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “IRS Impersonation Scam.”