IRS tax scam – fake Form W-8BEN

Fuller Landau team • September 15, 2015

Form W-8BEN (for individuals) and W-8BEN-E (for business entities) is the “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding.” These forms are used by U.S. payers to determine if U.S. tax withholding is required on their payments made to non-U.S. recipients. There has been an increase in fraudulent activity regarding these forms, where fake forms have been issued to unsuspecting recipients.


These fake forms require additional information such as:

  • mother’s maiden name,
  • passport number,
  • date of birth,
  • PIN numbers and passcodes,
  • bank account information.

The official IRS Form W-8BEN and W8-BEN-E do not require this information. Enclosed are the links to the official forms from the IRS website:

If you receive any request for the forms by email, fax, mail or other format and you suspect fraud, the IRS has provided the following guidelines to follow:

  • Do not reply.
  • Do not open any attachments.
  • Do not click on any links.
  • Forward the original request to the IRS at
  • Delete the original request after it has been forwarded.

If you have any questions, please contact Frank Casciaro at 416-645-6586 or, or Holly Haber at 416-645-6525 or


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