New E-mail Scam Targeting Taxpayers (About.com)

There’s a new phishing scam circulating via email. The email purports to be sent by the Internal Revenue Service, and states that the email recipient is under criminal investigation for filing a false tax return with the Franchise Tax Board of California. The email is a scam designed to entice readers into opening the email attachment or clicking on the link provided in the email. Recipients should not open the attachment or click on any links. You can also report the scam to the IRS, and the agency will investigate the email thoroughly.

Here’s the main points of the email, as reported by the IRS news announcement:

  • Claims to be sent by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division,
  • Claims the person filed a false tax return in the State of California,
  • Entices readers to click a link or open an attachment,
  • Both the link and the attachment are “trojan horses,” computer code that can hijack a computer and leave it vulnerable to hackers.

If you received this email, or a similar email purporting to come from the IRS, you can forward the email to the IRS for further investigation. The IRS has outlined special instructions for forwarding the email so that your risk of being hijacked is minimized. The agency suggests attaching the unopened message to a new email. Alternatively, you can change your message settings to view all the headers, and forward the full email to the IRS. The IRS has a special inbox just for these email scams. It is phishing@irs.gov. (more. . . )

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