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Oregon Attorney General Cautions Taxpayers of Phishing Scam

Attorney General "John Kroger" is cautioning Oregonians against phony Internal Revenue Service (IRS) e-mails, which ask for private financial details from recipients in pretext of giving additional stimulus checks, as reported by KATU on September 23, 2009.

These IRS mails are "phishing" scams, a method used by cyber criminals to commit ID theft, which includes settling financial accounts, applying for loans or credit in the victim's name or selling stolen details to other attackers for committing more heinous activities.

As per the Attorney General, the most pervasive IRS scam mail in circulation is linked with economic stimulus payments. In fact, to get the stimulus payment from the IRS, most taxpayers have to do nothing except filing their federal tax returns.

Till date, the IRS reports that taxpayers have forwarded them almost 33,000 of these scam mails. But as a rule, the IRS never mails for contacting a taxpayer and never asks for private details by e-mail.

The office of Oregon AG also provides some hints to detect scam mails. Clicking on hyperlinks can take gullible users and their systems to an unsafe or unsecure place and may try to encourage users to reveal their private information.

AG's office informed that users should forward such uninvited suspicious mails claiming to be from the IRS to an e-mail address at phish@irs.gov.

Moreover, the AG office advised taxpayers sticking to the old proverb-"if it seems too good to be true, it probably is." The office also added that this frequent "too good to be true" scams include high return investment opportunities, work-from-home scams and secret shopper.

Besides, phishers have been using the IRS name to deceive people in these scams. The agency also stated that this year (2009), the IRS has recognized 1, 400 unique phishing sites that use the IRS logo or claim to come from the IRS.

Lately, Minnesota and North Dakota's Better Business Bureau also cautioned netizens of a latest IRS phishing e-mail scam making rounds on the Internet.

Related article: Organizations Integrating IT Security into Business Agenda

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