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Ohio & Northern Indiana Taxpayers Cautioned about Stimulus Payment Phishing E-mails

Northern Indiana's Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning residents to look out for a new e-mail scam trying to seize personal information from taxpayers.

The bureau said that anyone who receives e-mail claiming to be from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) delete it right away, as it is nothing but a phishing e-mail.

Providing details about the spoofed e-mail hitting the Northern Indiana residents' inboxes, BBB states that it announces a stimulus payment for the recipient based on the IRS' last annual computation of the user's fiscal activity. Thus, the e-mail requests the recipient to fill out an alleged Stimulus Payment Online Form for processing the payment. It also says that there are various reasons for delay in stimulus payment like submitting incorrect information or applying after the last date. Subsequently, it directs the recipient to download an attached file so that he can submit his Stimulus Payment Form.

In the end, the e-mail gives 'Regards' to the reader on behalf of IRS.

Meanwhile, BBB has also reported that subscribers of West Central, Ohio, are receiving similar hoax e-mail posing as a message from IRS.

In this case, the sender tells the recipient that he is eligible to receive refund of $200. But he could get it by submitting a form obtainable by clicking on a link given in the e-mail message.

Analyzing the e-mail, BBB's security officials said that the objective of the message is pretty clear. Its sender wants the user to disclose his social security and bank account numbers. But BBB says that IRS does not e-mail taxpayers for any reason especially not to inform them of a refund. Therefore, anyone receiving this kind of e-mail must contact Neil Winget of BBB West Central Ohio by dialing the number 419-223-7010, the bureau advises.

With the start of the tax giving period, BBB is asking users to be vigilant of e-mails regarding tax refund and tax in general. It is also recommending that users secure their PCs by updating their operating software, anti-spyware and antivirus programs to stay protected from new threats.

Related article: Ohio Residents’ Stolen Information at Low Risk of ID Fraud

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