IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam
Netlore Archive: Fraudulent emails purporting to originate from the IRS aim to trick users into revealing personal information
Description: Email scam
Circulating since: March 2006
Email example contributed by Mary R., 23 Aug. 2007:
Comments: Beware: this is a scam. Despite the official-looking logo and links to Web pages carefully designed to fool unsuspecting users, messages like the above have one purpose only: to trick recipients into revealing personal information which can then be used to steal their identities.
According to the IRS, the agency never sends unsolicited emails to individual taxpayers, much less solicits their personal information via the Web. The phony emails and fly-by-night Websites are part of a known Internet "phishing" scam operating since 2006.
If you receive a suspicious email similar to the above, you are encouraged to forward it to investigators at the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com. Or simply delete it. Under no circumstances should you respond to such emails with personal information of any kind.
From the IRS: How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious Emails or Phishing Scams
Sources and further reading:
Phishers Try to Reel in Taxpayers in IRS Email Scheme
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 16 August 2007
IRS Email Scam Aims at Wallet
WRAL-TV News, 22 August 2007
IRS Renews Email Alert Following New Scams
Internal Revenue Service, 7 July 2007
How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious Emails or Phishing Scams
Internal Revenue Service,
Last updated: 08/24/07