If you get a note from the IRS (Eternal Revenue Service), it’s usually not a good thing unless it comes with a check. But if you get an email from the IRS, you should really pay attention. It might not be them.
I got a strange one in my email box the other day, and it was a genuine head-scratcher:
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Jun 2 (5 days ago)
The message “Your Federal tax report #ID9837” from Internal Revenue Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) contained a virus or a suspicious attachment. It was therefore not fetched from your account email@example.com and has been left on the server.
If you wish to write to Internal, just hit reply and send Internal a message.
The Gmail Team
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OK. Here’s the deal. Whoever it was sent it to my business email address, which hasn’t existed very long. See, all my emails feed directly into my gmail box, making it easier to keep track of stuff and handle all my addresses without having to log in and out and in and out. Email addresses are cheap.
Anyway, I went to my business email box:
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|Your Federal tax report #ID***7|
|From :||“Internal Revenue Service” <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
06-02-2012 10:18 PM
The analysis of the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity has indicated that
you are entitled to receive a tax refund of $382.34
Please submit a request of the tax refund and a processing of the request will take 7-14 days.
A tax refund can be delayed by different reasons.
For instance submission of invalid records or sending after the deadline.
Please find the form of your tax refund attached and fill out it and send a report.
Internal Revenue Service.
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That’s the email, and it’s pure horse dung. I didn’t even bother to open the attachment. But as far as phishing/information mining/scamming goes, it’s an oldie but goodie.
Here’s what I got from the Internet from the Internet Crime Complaint Center:
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Intelligence Note Prepared by the Internet Crime
Complaint Center (IC3)
December 1, 2005
E-mail disguised as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) phishing for personal information
has become aware of a spam email claiming the recipient is eligible to receive a
tax refund for $571.94. The email purports to be from email@example.com
with the subject line of “IRS
Tax Refund.” A link is provided in the email to access a form required
to be completed in order to receive the refund. The link appears to connect to the
true IRS website. However, the recipient is redirected to
http://www.porterfam.org/2005/, where personal data, including credit
card information, is captured.
This e-mail is a hoax. Do not follow the provided link.
Be cautious when responding to requests or special offers delivered through unsolicited
email: Guard your personal information as well as your account information carefully. Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card
issuer’s contact information. If your monthly statement looks suspicious or you
lose your card(s), contact the issuer immediately.
If you have received this, or a similar hoax, please file a complaint at
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Looking a little further, I checked from the jackass’ mouth itself, going straight to the IRS website. I pasted it directly in here, so it may look funky.
The upshot is, they’re not going to use email or social media to contact you:
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The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or any social media tools to request personal or financial information
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If you’re into links, here’s the IRS announcement.
So I’m not going to open this attachment. I’m not going to bother.
I know they don’t owe me a refund, and if they did they’re not going to tell me unless I ask. What do I think they are, stupid?
(Don’t answer that!)
So if you get an email from the IRS, forget it. It’s not them.