The tax season is here and the deadline for filing is less than two weeks away. If you receive an email from the IRS, it’s a bogus e-mail. The email looks like the real deal, but the IRS will never, ever send you an email about a tax refund.
The email tells the recipient that they’re eligible to receive a tax refund for a given amount. It instructs the recipient to click on a link contained in the e-mail to access and complete a form for the tax refund. The form requires the entry of personal and financial information.
Important: THE IRS WILL NOT SEND YOU AN EMAIL ABOUT REFUNDS!!!
How to Spot a Scam
Some email scams are very sophisticated, but here are a few things to look for;
- An email that requires personal and/or financial information, such as name, SSN, bank or credit card account numbers.
- An email asking you to participate in an IRS survey.
- An email that comes in a form of penalties if you do not respond.
- Many of these scams come from overseas and are written by non-English speakers. Look out for incorrect grammar or spelling errors.
- An email that doesn’t have a link to the actual IRS Web site address (www.irs.gov). To see the actual link address, or URL, move the mouse over the link included in the text of the e-mail.
How to report a scam:
The IRS does not initiate taxpayer contact via unsolicited e-mail or ask for personal identifying or financial information via e-mail. If you receive a suspicious e-mail claiming to come from the IRS, take the following steps:
- Do not open any attachments to the e-mail, in case they contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
- Do not click on any links, for the same reason. Also, be aware that the links often connect to a phony IRS Web site that appears authentic and then prompts the victim for personal identifiers, bank or credit card account numbers or PINs.
- Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine whether the IRS is trying to contact you.
- Forward the suspicious e-mail or URL address to the IRS mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org, and then delete the e-mail from your inbox.
Be careful and don’t forget that the deadline for filing is on April 15, 2010.
Read other scams & hoaxes here.