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Email from IRS? Nope, Just More Phishing - Mary Beth Guard

Email from IRS?
Nope, Just More Phishing

by Mary Beth Guard, BOL Guru

Imagine opening your email in-box and encountering an email, addressed to you, which purports to be from the Internal Revenue Service, telling you that you are under investigation for tax fraud and are subject to prosecution. Is it your worst nightmare come true? No, it's just the latest phishing scam.

Masquerading as the IRS, the scammers are sending emails to random email addresses, hoping some of the recipients will stupidly follow the email's suggestion that they click over to an official-looking Web site and "help" the investigation by providing certain information. The information requested at the site (http://deptreas.org/irs/7634/) is detailed personal information that could be used by the scammers to commit identity theft.

The site has been shut down, and investigations are under way.

What should have tipped off recipients to the fact the email was bogus?

  • As with many phishing scams, the email contained several grammatical errors;
  • The IRS doesn't collect email addresses and doesn't communicate with taxpayers about issues relating to their accounts via email;
  • The domain name for the Web site -- deptreas.org -- is not a government domain and it is not even close to the official Treasury or IRS Web site addresses.

IRS Press Release on Phishing Scam

RELATED LINKS to Help Make Sure Your Institution Is Up To Speed on Phishing

First published on BankersOnline.com 05/03/04

First published on 05/03/2004

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