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IRS Alerts Taxpayers about Phishing E-mails

With the last date of tax-submission coming near, IRS (Internal Revenue Service) reminded taxpayers on March 16, 2010 about the extremely prevalent e-mail scams during the tax season, particularly phishing e-mails.

Term 'phishing,' refers to the practice of capturing personal information like credit card details via an e-mail, which purports to be from an entity of repute like the IRS. During the tax returns period, online fraudsters frequently pull victims with through commitments, such as tax refund.

The IRS stated that scam designers would seek to deceive consumers, as reported by Ecreditdaily.com on March 16, 2010. The agency added that crooks utilize the data phished off from consumers to practice identity theft, illegally operate on victims' bank accounts, make unauthorized purchases with their credit cards, or even apply to get loans using their names..

Commenting on the bogus IRS e-mails, Todd Feinman, Chief Executive of Finder LLC, a computer security firm in New York, stated that people generally don't understand when they inadvertently revealed their confidential information, according to a statement published by Businessweek.com on March 16, 2010.

The CEO added that it could be a file titled "tax form" on the user's desktop, which someone could get hold of via peer-to-peer file/music sharing. Alternatively, it could be a computer virus, which looks for the particular information.

However, as the online tax frauds soar during the returns filing period, Feinman outlines some suggestions for the users so as to protect their information. Firstly, users must protect their passwords for all tax documents whose PDF print out they take. This will help keep their financial information and social security numbers safe.

Secondly, they must so configure their P2P file-sharing software that their private folders don't get shared. Thirdly, to avoid Mac or Windows being exploited, the users must make their operating systems up-to-date. Fourthly, they must delete all financial documents holding personal information with which tax returns were prepared, or make them password-protected.

Next, they must be careful while engaging someone's services for preparing their IT returns. And finally, if they suspect anytime that they've been scammed while processing tax returns; they must contact the IRS immediately.

Related article: IRS Cautions Taxpayers of Recent Email Scam

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