Another email scam promising an IRS "refund" is circulating again. As the tax return filing season is in high-gear, the number of email scams, known as phishing, is increasing as con artists seek to steal taxpayers' identities by enticing them with offers of refunds.
The latest version of the refund scam is similar to past scams. An official-government looking email (which contains the IRS insignia / logo) tells the recipient that he or she is eligible for an IRS refund. The email reads: "After the last calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $129.53".
The email asks the recipient to link to an electronic refund request form so the IRS can process the refund. Scam artists then use the personal information on the form to steal the recipient's identity or for other criminal purposes. Some email scams contain harmful viruses or spyware that can infest the recipient's computer.
Refunds do not require a separate form from that processed with your tax return. Nor would the IRS communicate with you on such an important matter such via an unsolicited email. If you believe that you may be due a refund, check your tax return first, then use the IRS' online Where's My Refund? tool at www.irs.gov.
- Never click a link in a suspicious email! -