Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Scams and Spams: The IRS Strikes Back

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that taxpayers need to be wary of e-mails purporting to be from the IRS. Many of these engage in "phishing" and attempt to gain access to a respondent's social security number, bank personal identification number or credit card number. The IRS mailbox for e-mail schemes, phishing@irs.gov, has collected over 17,500 e-mails from 240+ different phishing attempts based in over 25 different countries. The IRS promises not to do the following: notify taxpayers of refunds by e-mail; provide detailed personal financial information to receive a refund; distribute lottery winnings or freeze a taxpayer's credit card or bank account based on possible fraud against the taxpayer.

In most cases, stopping phishing is a matter of common sense. However, given the fear that the IRS strikes in some (unfortunately, NOT the ones who SHOULD fear the IRS), this public announcement may keep some well-meaning taxpayer from being duped.


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