Wyden: Urge IRS to address ChatGPT created tax scams

By US Senator Ron Wyden,

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today along with Senators Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and James Lankford, R-Okla., sounded the alarm on the potential use of artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT, to generate persuasive, tailored scams intended to rob Americans by getting access to their personal financial information.

“In previous tax filing seasons, many scam messages could be identified by spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and inaccurate references to the tax code,” the senators wrote in a bipartisan letter to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “By contrast, tax scams generated by new AI tools are professionally composed and specifically tailored to trick vulnerable taxpayers.”

The senators continued, “According to recent reporting, one cybersecurity expert demonstrated how ChatGPT can be used to generate scam messages from the IRS targeting families, older Americans, and small businesses. For example, ChatGPT generated a fake email from the IRS claiming that, in order to receive a $1,450 tax refund, an individual needed to respond with personal financial information.”  

The senators urged the IRS to prepare for and counter these AI-generated tax scams, including educating taxpayers and tax professionals about the existence of these tax scams and what to watch out for. They also asked the IRS whether it expects these AI-generated tax scams to become more common and how these scams might evolve over time.

Read the letter to the IRS here.