Sunday, February 10, 2008

IRS Scam-Watch Out!

I was going through my junk email folder, for some reason emails sent to me by two commenators have ended up there. I usually empty that folder without checking the contents. Not anymore. I have had people tell me they know they sent me an email and I would reply that I never got it.

Anyhow, in my bulk mail folder were two messages form the IRS. The email said what a could expect for a refund this year. I noticed that there was no name in the body of the email indicating it was to me. I thought: Phishing. I decided to follow the links.
Internal Revenue Service wrote:
From: "Internal Revenue Service"
Subject: Tax Refund (Message ID w73f824)
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 10:16:47 -0500
A Secure Way to Receive Your Tax Refunds
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that
you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $873.20.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3-9 days in order to process it.
A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons.
For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.
To access the form for your tax refund, please click here. Note: For security reasons, we will record your ip-address, the date and time.
Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued and indicated.
Internal Revenue Service
Copyright 2008, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. All rights reserved.

I did click on the link and I arrived at an official looking IRS website.

Go ahead, click on that link above. (I removed teh link, the IRS said it might contain malicious software and tracking cookies. I did a virus scan and cleaned up my computer, there were cookies left by this site.) Looks official, doesn't it? Here is a link to the official IRS web site. Not much difference is there?

Note the www. address for the fake website:,,id=96596,00

Note the www. address for the real website:

I followed the links on the fake website, each screen looked official until I got to this screen that asked for my Social security, bank account or credit card to deposit the refund etc. (I deleted the link for the reasons listed above.)

No body, the IRS, E-bay, Paypal, your bank will ask for this kind of information in an email. Call them if you have a question.

Here is a link to an official IRS webpage and what they suggest to do if you receive on of these emails: IRS Warns of New E-Mail and Telephone Scams Using the IRS Name; Advance Payment Scams Starting

1 comment:

The CDM said...

I'll add this to the many times I have won the U.K lottery.