An e-mail scam that promises money from the Internal Revenue Service is making its way around computers in Iowa. IRS spokesman, Christopher Miller, says the e-mail begins with what appears to be good news. Miller says the e-mail says you’re eligible for an IRS refund, usually around ninety-three dollars or 72 dollars. You are then sent to a website and asked to give personal information. "That’s where you can get caught. Don’t do it, don’t fall victim to these scammers," Miller says.
Miller says the e-mail itself should be a warning. Miller says the I-R-S does not send out unsolicited e-mails, or asked for detailed personal financial information via the internet, or ask for personal passcodes for your financial accounts. The scam to get your personal information on-line is called "phishing(fishing)." Once the scammer gets your personal information, they can use your identity for loans, credits cards, and can steal money from your accounts.
Miller says if you get such an e-mail, you should sent it to the I-R-S at a special mailbox with the address: firstname.lastname@example.org. He says since they’ve established the box to get the fraudulent e-mails, they’ve gotten more than 17-thousand in 240 separate phishing incidents, with the e-mails coming from 27 different countries. Miller says the e-mail do look convincing and official.
He says the e-mailers have taken the artwork from the I-R-S and applied it to their website. Miller says not many people want to ignore what looks like an official notice from the I-R-S, but again he says they do not notify people via the internet. Miller says the Iowa Attorney General’s office has also gotten reports of the scam.
If you have already responded to the fraudulent e-mails or feel you may be the victim of identity theft, contact the Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 888-777-4590.