IRS Warns of ‘Tax Refund’ E-mail Scam
IRS is warning consumers against a phishing e-mail scam that directs them to a Web site to enter personal identifying and financial information in order to receive a tax refund.
The bogus e-mail, which claims to come from “tax firstname.lastname@example.org,” tells the recipient that he or she is eligible to receive a tax refund for a given amount. It provides a link that recipients are supposed to follow to submit a form online. Recipients are also asked to provide personal identifying and financial information — the kind of information used by ID thieves to defraud consumers of their funds and credit.
Sophos, an online-security firm, says the scam exploits a security vulnerability at a legitimate government site to re-route consumers to the scammer’s site.
IRS, in a warning issued recently, says it never asks for personal identifying or financial information using unsolicited e-mail. It notes also that, contrary to the information in the scammer’s e-mail, taxpayers do not have to complete a special form to obtain a refund.
IRS advises people not to open attachments in suspect e-mails because they can trigger computer viruses. Instead, it suggests calling IRS 1-800-829-1040 to find out whether the IRS is trying to contact them about a tax refund.
Story rerun with permission from www.NAFCU.org
The IRS has seen numerous attempts over the years to defraud the public and the federal government through a variety of schemes, including abusive tax avoidance transactions, identity theft, claims for slavery reparations, frivolous arguments and more. More information on these schemes may be found on the criminal enforcement page at www.IRS.gov.