E-mail Scams Likely to Rise This Year, Says IRS

The Internet Revenue Service (IRS) has released a warning that the e-mail scams are expected to increase this year because of economic stimulus package.

Peggy Riley, IRS Spokesperson, New England, said that a new wave of e-mail scams has been noticed that informs recipients about economic stimulus package or a specific tax refund based on their eligibility, as reported by dailynewstribune on October 31, 2008.

The e-mail also includes the IRS address and encourages recipients to follow the link provided in it for getting the money. The links take users to a page where recipients' personal information is sought, including credit card number and bank account details. The offer seems very lucrative and hard to resist, actually too good to be true.

Further, some customers of tax service providers got the e-mails pretending to have come from the IRS. These e-mails attract recipients by saying that they are entitled to get $600 as a part of the economic stimulus package, but the link given in them takes recipients to a fake Web page where information like account details and social security number are asked to transfer the refund. Though the site does not look like the IRS Website, these e-mails come from IRS reply-at e-mail, so they look legitimate.

The IRS said in a statement released in July 2008 that it received 700 identity theft e-mails from taxpayers during May and June 2008. By July 2008, the figure reached nearly 1,600.

Moreover, the Internet has made task of stealing identity details easier, letting scammers to target anyone by just sending an e-mail. Previously, scammers rely on letters and phone to target their victims, particularly elder people.

In addition, the IRS made clear that it does not contact taxpayers by e-mail, and funds can only be obtained by submitting a tax refund form.

It has become very common that scammers are targeting taxpayers by sending fake e-mails using IRS name. In similar news, Arkansas Attorney General warned consumers in early October 2008 about the e-mail scam that used refunds as bait and had IRS name along with its logo to make it look more genuine.

Related article: E-Crime Reporting Format To Be Launched in July

ยป SPAMfighter News - 19-11-2008

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