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IRS Cautions of Scam E-Mails Reaching Taxpayers’ Inbox

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued an alert to consumers that scammers are sending taxpayers, e-mails that appear official as they talk about federal IT (income tax) payments that were submitted recently.

According to Dee Harris Stepter, spokeswoman for IRS, the majority of the e-mails lead to an online form, or in other words a fake Internet site, which asks for the user's (taxpayer's) various personal financial details that include credit card particulars and Social Security number, reported by nola.com on May 2, 2010.

Once the personal details are collected, the scammers utilize them to gain access to the bank accounts of the victims or to take loans on behalf of the taxpayers. Says Stepter; a few fraudulent e-mails may be "targeted" as they use the recipients' name to address them.

Reportedly, almost 70% of taxpayers in Louisiana filed returns online during 2009. While this way of return filing is getting increasingly popular, people tend to presume that they will get e-mails from the IRS regarding their taxes.

Security specialists elaborated further and stated that those behind the scams target taxpayers through phone, fax, or U.S mail; however, the most common method is via e-mail. Moreover, since a lot of residents now submit their taxes online, taxpayers become alert when an e-mail comes to them stating that it is from IRS.

Director of operations and media relations Cynthia Albert for New Orleans' Better Business Bureau stated that the IRS wouldn't ever dispatch e-mails requesting recipients to provide their personal information, as per the news published by nola.com on May 2, 2010.

Ms. Albert further stated that the alleged phishing scams, which craftily tried to get end-users' private financial details in the pretext of IRS or any other well-known entity requiring them, were getting more abundant.

So the best way for keeping away from these phishing attempts is via safeguarding personal data to the maximum level possible. Users must know the nature and operation of a phishing campaign. They mustn't open e-mail attachments casually. Instead they must delete such e-mails without delay. And, they shouldn't hit on web-links embedded in such fraudulent messages since that can lead to their computers becoming infected.

Related article: IRS Cautions Taxpayers of Recent Email Scam

» SPAMfighter News - 5/14/2010

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