IRS: e-mail tax scams on the rise
Tax agency issues warning on 'phishing' scams that promise refunds and request personal information.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Internal Revenue Service warned American taxpayers Friday to be on the lookout for a so-called "phishing" scam in which criminals send e-mails promising tax refunds.
The agency noted an increase in complaints about such scams in recent weeks.
The current scam involves an e-mail, claiming to be from the IRS and directs taxpayers to a site that appears to be legitimate, where they are asked to fill out personal and financial information.
The IRS said it does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal information via e-mail. The government agency also said it will not ask taxpayers to give out secret information such as PIN numbers, passwords or information about their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.
Typically, most tax scams occur around the April tax filing deadline, according to the IRS. But during the month of June alone, the agency said it had received copies of 1,300 bogus e-mails.
The IRS also said that 20 different scams have emerged during the month of June. Since November, the agency says it has identified are approximately 99 different phishing scams, with many of them originating from outside the United States.
The IRS said that taxpayers are encouraged to forward any information about e-mails claiming to be from the IRS to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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