NASHVILLE – The Internal Revenue Service wants you to know there may be a scam waiting in your e-mail inbox that looks official but could be dangerous to you and your computer.
“We’re getting reports of an e-mail that appears to come from the IRS and tells recipients to fill out an attached form and fax it in,” said IRS spokesperson Dan Boone. “Other scam e-mails ask you to click on a link and provide personal information online.”
No matter what approach the scammers use, Boone says there are two things the IRS needs people to remember:
-The IRS never sends e-mails about your taxes.
-If you get a scam e-mail, don’t access any links or attachments.
According to Boone, if you have accessed a link or attachment in a scam e-mail, you may have allowed the scammer to download malicious software to your computer and you should immediately scan for viruses and spyware, plus be alert for suspicious activity on your financial accounts.
“If you have actually responded to a scam e-mail by giving out your private information,” Boone said, “you should immediately take steps to prevent identity theft. You may now be a prime target.”
Steps include contacting the Federal Trade Commission and are outlined on the official IRS Web site at www.irs.gov.
Taxpayers can help the IRS stop scammers by sending the original scam e-mail to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. The e-mail must be forwarded using special instructions at IRS.gov or it loses the encoding needed to track it to its source, Boone said.
For more information about tax scams, visit www.irs.gov and check out the Dirty Dozen, a list of tax scams updated each year by the IRS.
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