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Issue 79 - February 2008 - Page 4

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Mobile Phone Tips Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do
  2. Storm Photographs
  3. General Cosgrove Radio Interview Hoax
  4. IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam
  5. Starbucks Lack of Support For Iraq Troops Rumor
  6. Charging a Mobile Phone with Peepal Leaves
  7. Donate to Autism Research by Watching a Video
  8. Photobucket MySpace Comment Virus Warning
  9. Scam Victims Reimbursements Programme Scam
  10. Kevin Carter Pulitzer Prize Photograph
  11. Facebook Deleting Inactive Users Hoax
  12. Cell Phone Charging Danger Warning Email
  13. Oscar Mayer Does Not Support The War Hoax
  14. An Overview of Phishing

Issue 79 Start Menu

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IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam

Summary:
Email, purporting to be from the IRS, claims that the recipient is eligible for a tax refund and should click on an included link to access the refund.

Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, December 2007)
From: 13674805@irs.gov
Subject: IRS Annual Notification (ID: A21W592)
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 07:31:57 -0600


Scam IRS Logo

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $109.23. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons.
For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access your tax refund, please click here

Best Regards,
Tax Refund Deparment
Internal Revenue Service

Copyright 2007, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. All rights reserved. TAX REFUND ID: A21W592




Commentary:
Phishing scammers use a variety of tactics designed to trick victims into divulging their personal information. One such tactic is to send out bogus emails that claim that the recipient is eligible for a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The message instructs recipients to click on a link to apply for their refund.

However, the email is not from the IRS, and clicking the link opens a bogus website designed to steal personal information such as credit card details and social security numbers. The scammers can retain the private information submitted on this fake website and use it to commit credit card fraud or identity theft. In order to further the illusion of legitimacy, the fake website closely resembles pages on the genuine IRS website. The scam email itself also uses seemingly official graphics and formatting to fool potential victims into believing its claims.

The IRS has published a warning to US taxpayers about this and other IRS related scams that includes the following statement:
Another recent e-mail scam tells taxpayers that the IRS has calculated their "fiscal activity" and that they are eligible to receive a tax refund of a certain amount. Taxpayers receive a page of, or are sent to, a Web site (titled "Get Your Tax Refund!") that copies the appearance of the genuine "Where's My Refund?" interactive page on the genuine IRS Web site. Like the real "Where's My Refund?" page, taxpayers are asked to enter their SSNs and filing status. However, the phony Web page asks taxpayers to enter their credit card account numbers instead of the exact amount of refund as shown on their tax return, as the real "Where's My Refund?" page does. Moreover, the IRS does not send e-mails to taxpayers to advise them of refunds or to request financial information.
Criminals have use variants of this IRS tax-refund ruse to target US based victims for a number of years. Moreover, scammers also use very similar tactics to target taxpayers in the UK, Canada, and other nations. You should treat any unsolicited email that claims that you are eligible for a tax refund with the utmost suspicion. Government tax entities such as the IRS do not send refund notifications via unsolicited email. If you receive such an email, do not follow any links in the message or open any attachments that it may contain.




Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 79 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Mobile Phone Tips Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do
  2. Storm Photographs
  3. General Cosgrove Radio Interview Hoax
  4. IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam
  5. Starbucks Lack of Support For Iraq Troops Rumor
  6. Charging a Mobile Phone with Peepal Leaves
  7. Donate to Autism Research by Watching a Video
  8. Photobucket MySpace Comment Virus Warning
  9. Scam Victims Reimbursements Programme Scam
  10. Kevin Carter Pulitzer Prize Photograph
  11. Facebook Deleting Inactive Users Hoax
  12. Cell Phone Charging Danger Warning Email
  13. Oscar Mayer Does Not Support The War Hoax
  14. An Overview of Phishing