Better Business Bureau is warning taxpayers about emailed notices supposedly being sent by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
In one of them, the subject line reads: “Notification about tax refund,” tells the recipient that the IRS has estimated “your projected 2011 income tax refund and mentions a dollar amount, and contains a hyperlink that encourages the reader to learn about the details of their tax refund by clicking on a hyperlink to “…enter the website.” In fact neither the email nor its link track back to the IRS.
The email is signed “Sincerely, Tax Refund Department Internal Revenue Service.
A second email’s subject line reads “Very Important Notice,” and contains a genuine looking graphic that resembles an authentic IRS notice. This email claims that the “Internal Revenue Service Antifraud Commission has found 3 fraud attempts regarding your bank account,” and requires recipients to unblock their funds “…by accessing our webpage.” The email contains spelling and grammar mistakes.
BBB reminds taxpayers that as a matter of policy, the IRS does not initiate contact by email or any social media tools to request personal or financial information from taxpayers.
The IRS offers the following warnings for taxpayers who receive an email purporting to originate with the agency:
1. Do not reply.
2. Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
3. Do not click on any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious email or phishing website and entered confidential information, visit our identity protection page.
4. Forward the email as-is, to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. After you forward the email and/or header information to us, delete the original email message you received.
All unsolicited email claiming to be from either the IRS or any other IRS-related components such as the Office of Professional Responsibility or EFTPS, should be reported to email@example.com.
You may find additional contact information at http://www.irs.gov/contact/index.html.