Beware the new IRS e-mail phishing scam, taxpayers

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 By

Screenshot of one kind of IRS e-mail

This is a sample of one of the IRS scam e-mails that have been spotted. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Chris/Confessions of a Consultant)

Each tax season, unscrupulous individuals come out of the cyber-woodwork to prey on unsuspecting taxpayers. Unfortunately, 2011 tax time is no different. According to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, a new IRS e-mail scam is circulating that can infect your computer with malware and viruses and even place your sensitive financial data in the hands of identity thieves.

The IRS does not sent personal tax e-mails

Dan Boone, an IRS media relations representative, told the Times-Gazette that the IRS never sends e-mails about specific tax returns.

“If you get an e-mail that looks like comes from the IRS and it looks like it has something to do with your personal taxes or business taxes, it’s a scam,” said Boone.

While there is not one specific IRS scam e-mail in circulation, there is a common theme. Identity thieves are phishing for social security numbers, bank account numbers or other personal information that will make it much easier to get their hands on your money or lines of credit in your name. Typically, the fraud e-mail dangles a refund due to the consumer but says the consumer must provide banking information on a special refund form in order to facilitate a “transfer” of funds.

“There is no refund form. Your tax return is your refund form,” said Boone.

How to handle an IRS phishing scam

If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from that asks for your personal information, do not click on any links in the e-mail or download/open any attachments, advises Boone. This can open up your computer to malware and viruses that can potentially steal sensitive data from your computer’s hard drive or record your keystrokes. Whether or not a link in an information-seeking IRS scam e-mail redirects a taxpayer to a website that looks like, the fact is that the IRS does not send taxpayers e-mails that require personal data.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to report fraud of any kind. Forward suspicious e-mails to phishing(at) Please note that a return receipt from the IRS will not be issued. For more information, consult IRS form IR-2006-49.

Sources Suspicious e-mails and identity theft

Shelbyville Times-Gazette

Beware e-mails that appear to be from the IRS

Previous Article

« Police respond to Miami Airport explosion caused by hairspray

Miami Airport today was overrun by bomb squads, police and TSA officials when a can of hairspray exploded; the can was packed in someone's bag. Hairspray
Next Article

Boston Market, KFC, Taco Bell | Great Deals, Free Food »

Boston Market has $1 chicken meals this week; KFC is giving free chicken today, and Taco Bell is giving out free Black Jack Tacos on Halloween night... Image from Flickr.

Other recent posts by Steve Tarlow

Consumer spending fails to keep pace with rising incomes

Consumer spending is steady, but not rising at the same pace as personal incomes, reports Bloomberg Business. Spend more, READ MORE…
Spend it! Consumer spending isn't rising as fast as some would like.

Of Harry Reid, Bill Clinton, KFC and blue people

Harry Reid racist comments have the media atwitter, as do Bill Clinton, Australian KFC ads and the white-on-blue violence in "Avatar."

Kneber botnet can steal your Facebook, banking logins

The Kneber botnet is spreading like wildfire through corporate, government and home networks. Be smart online, or you could pay dearly.