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Fraud Tax Refund on Social Security Targeting Georgians

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US has found that an e-mail scam is asking Georgian citizens to file an IT return for a refund on taxes paid for Social Security.

The e-mail that seems to come from the IRS actually has identity thieves behind it perched to grab recipients' personal information.

The e-mail message begins by saying that after calculating the recipient's 'fiscal activity', it has been found that the person is eligible for a refund. It then instructs the recipient to click on a given link to access an application for the refund but actually leads the recipient to a fraudulent IRS site.

Special agent Bonnie Heald looking after the IRS Fraud Department said that the agency never asks recipients to "click here" as it might also carry software capable of infiltrating a computer system. Maysville-online reported this on January 28, 2008.

A sample of the e-mail contains a message that claims to be from the IRS and therefore important to read.

In the second page of the supposed refund application, the reader is requested to provide his name, pin number and personal banking code, ATM, and Social Security number, precisely the information a scammer requires to drain an unsuspecting recipient's bank account in the pretext of processing the refund.

Although the counterfeit Web page seems to look exactly like the real IRS page, including the symbols of the federal agency and E-File logos, a closer examination of one particular message reveals a misspelling of the word 'Department'.

According to the IRS, the fraudulent scheme usually gets the victim to pay the scammer a fee to help in the transmission of a bogus refund. Such a hoax leads the victims to prepare for the so-called up-front fee. Local tax preparers were unaware that such a fake solicitation existed.

Mark Green, an IRS spokesman, said that the agency is extremely concerned about some people becoming victim of the recent scam. To be entitled for a refund as a result of paying Social Security taxes is normally not a choice and in the present case, it isn't legal, said Green. Bizjournals published Green's statement on January 28, 2008.

Related article: Fraud Application Imposes itself on Mac Users

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