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Posted February 9, 2012

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Don’t be Fooled by Fake Tax Emails

The Department of Homeland Security warns that emails that seem to be coming from the IRS or a tax filing service may actually be "phishing" attempts to get at a user's computer or email account.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is warning individuals about emails that appear to come from the Internal Revenue Service or a tax filing service, but in reality are from someone trying to get your e-mail or tax information. These “phishing” attacks usually include a link or attachment in the body of the email designed to maliciously get at a user’s computer or email account.

If you get an email from some business you are not familiar with relating to tax filing, don’ open it. If you get a phone call from a tax service or the IRS, ask for the person’s name and a call back number.

If you file a paper copy, but receive an e-mail notification, there is a good chance the email you received is malicious. The IRS and third-party tax providers typically don’t send email notifications, especially to taxpayers filing a paper return. If you do get an email, don’t respond to it, instead contact the IRS or your tax preparer directly.

If you file your taxes online, but receive emails from other third parties stating you are eligible for a bigger refund, or there was an error on your return, treat these emails as suspicious and do not open them. Notify the IRS and your tax filing service provider about the e-mail.

Some email don'ts:

  • Don’t click on links in emails
  • Don’t open attachments
  • Don’t give out personal information

To learn more about the tax filing process or if you have questions regarding electronic filing go directly to the IRS website. If you think you have received a suspicious email, you can forward it to http://phishing@irs.gov.

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