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A new e-mail scam is being directed at extranjeros

One of my clients, living in La Antigua Guatemala, received the following e-mail, supposedly from the IRS.

Sir/Madam,

Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America Tax reporting and withholdings on interest paid you on your account and other financial dealings to protect your exemption from Tax on your account and other financial benefit in rectifying your exemption status.

Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing form W-4100B2 and return to us as soon as possible through the fax number: + 1-913-273-8441

If you are a US Citizen and resident, please complete form W-4100B2 and fax to us. Please indicate “US Citizen/Resident” on the form.

When completing form W-4100B2 please follow steps below:

  1. We need you to provide your permanent address if different from the current mailing address on your Form W-4100B2. You must indicate if a non-US resident, your country of origin to support your non-resident status (if your bank account or other financial dealing has a US address for mailing purpose)
  2. If any joint account holder are now US residents of Citizens, or in any way subject to US tax reporting laws. Please check the box in this section.
  3. Please complete 1 through 19 and have all account holders sign and date the form separately and fax it to the above-mentioned number.

Please complete Form W-4100B2 “attached” and return to us within 1 (one) week from the receipt of this letter by fax to enable us to update your records immediately. If your account or any other financial benefits are not rectified in a timely manner, it will be subject to US tax reporting and back up withholding. (If back up withholding applies, we are required to withhold 30% of the interest paid to you.)

We appreciate your cooperation in helping us protect your exempt status and also update our records. Sincerely, Marlie Parks – IRS. Public Relations

There is no such IRS form W-4100B2; it is, of course, an elaborate phishing exercise and the information requested on the form would be used to drain your bank accounts.

In addition to not being written in American English (we don’t refer to “United States of America tax” – we call it “Federal tax”), we are not considered to be “non-resident aliens” by the IRS. We are “U.S. citizens living abroad.” Still, many ex-pats could be taken in by this scheme. It could also dupe a true non-resident alien (a non-U.S. citizen not living in the States) who has financial accounts in the U.S.

Be aware that the IRS does not request detailed personal information through e-mail.

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