Beware of IRS refund scam

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, December 20, 2007

Even though our instinct may be to “buy” the idea of receiving extra money in the form of an IRS refund, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Mississippi warns consumers not to risk becoming victims of identity theft or financial fraud by responding to scam emails that supposedly are from the IRS.

“A new phishing (email) tax scam is currently making the rounds. Although the emails look very realistic and contain the IRS logo, their message telling recipients that they are entitled to a refund is bogus,” said Bill Moak, President/CEO at the BBB of Mississippi. “The IRS doesn’t send tax refund notices via email.”

These bogus emails say “…after the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $93.60.” The recipients are directed to phishing web sites to use in submitting their Social Security numbers and bank information in order to have their refund processed.

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The BBB encourages consumers never to click on links included in any such emails. In fact, they recommend that the email be deleted without ever being opened.