Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!


Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

DividerDivider
Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
DividerDivider
Bookmark and Share







Rejected Federal Tax Payment Phishing Scam Email

Outline
Email purporting to be from the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) claims that the recipient's federal tax payment has been rejected and urges him or her to follow a link to rectify the problem.



Brief Analysis
The email is a scam and is not from the EFTPS. Those who are tricked into following the link will be asked to submit personal and financial information on a bogus website. This information can then be collected by Internet criminals.

Bookmark and Share
Detailed analysis and references below example.



Scroll down to submit comments
Last updated: 8th October 2010
First published: 8th October 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 010363182 is failed

Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 010375249 has been rejected.
Return Reason Code R21 - The identification number used in the Company Identification Field is not valid.
Please, check the information and refer to Code R21 to get details about your company payment in transaction contacts section:

[Link removed]

In other way forward information to your accountant adviser.
EFTPS:
The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System

PLEASE NOTE:
Your tax payment is due regardless of EFTPS online availability. In case of an emergency, you can always make your tax payment by calling the EFTPS.



Detailed Analysis
This email, which purports to be from US tax payment service Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), claims that the recipient's tax payment has been rejected due to a submission error. The message asks the recipient to click a link in order to review details about the error. The message includes a sender address and link that are seemingly valid EFTPS addresses.

However, the email is not from the EFTPS. The link in the message has been disguised so that it appears to point to the genuine EFTPS website. In fact, it is a phishing scam designed to steal personal information from recipients. At the time of writing, clicking the link in more recent scam emails that I have received invokes a "Page Not Found" error, apparently because the bogus website has been taken down. However, earlier instances of the scam emails opened a fake page designed to look like the genuine EFTPS. The fake page asked users to login to the system and provide personal and financial details. All information submitted on the bogus website is collected by Internet criminals and can then be used for fraud and identity theft.

The EFTPS has posted a warning about these phishing scams on its website, which notes in part:
Remember! EFTPS values your privacy and security and will never attempt to contact you via e-mail.
This scam campaign appears to be ongoing. A second wave of the scam emails is prefixed with the words "SECOND NOTICE" in the subject line. Scammers often put up new phishing websites to replace ones that have been taken down and change links in their scam emails accordingly. If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links that it may contain. Do not open any attachments that may arrive with the email.

Phishing scammers regular use bogus tax related emails as a means of tricking people into handing over personal information. Another scam campaign involves emails purporting to be from the IRS that claim that the recipient is eligible for a tax refund. Similar scams have targeted taxpayers in several other countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and South Africa. Be very cautious of following links or opening attachments in any email that claims to be from the tax agency in your country or any other government department or law enforcement agency. Phishing scammers very regularly use such ruses to gain new victims.

Bookmark and Share

References
Check Links in HTML Emails
EFTPS Website
IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information
SCAM: Your Federal Tax Payment has been rejected (NCSAM)

Last updated: 8th October 2010
First published: 8th October 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer