South Dakota Taxpayers Targeted with Tax Refund Scam
Larry Long, Attorney General for South Dakota, warned on February 15, 2008 that refund scams purporting to be from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) are resurfacing to coincide with the tax season, as reported by Blackhillsportal on February 15, 2008.
Larry Long also warned that two different kinds of scams are targeting consumers. One is a 'phishing' scam that sends out e-mails to notify recipients about auditing of their returns on tax, alternatively, they have been found to qualify for pay back.
These phishing messages direct the recipients to click on a link that actually takes them to a fake site, looking similar to the actual IRS Website. Fraudulent e-mails with words like government or IRS tend to convince consumers that they have come from the US federal government.
The IRS has also warned customers against e-mails based on charities, promising good rebate. Besides, the IRS officials said that the agency never sends out unsolicited e-mails and neither requests for consumers' personal identification details.
According to Larry Long, the second scam involves similar looking IRS Websites. The actual IRS site is www.irs.gov but the similar looking sites by using a few changed keystrokes dupe consumers into visiting fake sites.
Once the consumer lands on the bogus site, he is asked to reveal his personal information, like bank account and social security numbers. However, the official Website of the IRS offers consumers tax information and exchanges personal financial information in limited range.
In a similar case in Texas, several residents lodged complaints at the Attorney General's Office after receiving telephone calls and unsolicited e-mails from phony IRS agents, notifying about the taxpayer's entitlement to "Bush refunds", as reported by Setexasrecord on February 12, 2008.
These scammers demand from the taxpayers their bank account and Social Security numbers, telling them that the IRS requires the information so that it can directly deposit the "rebate check" into their bank accounts.
Long has advised computer users to be careful when browsing Websites that look like the IRS's Website or which claim association with the IRS. Also, taxpayers receiving such unsolicited e-mails should simply delete them or report them at the appropriate place.
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» SPAMfighter News - 22-02-2008