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Old 03-01-2008, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I ALMOST fell for it

I had gotten an email stating that I was to receive a tax refund of $129.72, seemingly from the IRS. The link went to a page identical in every way to the IRS site. I got suspicious when the page requesting my information had a spot for credit card number, 3 digit code and issuing bank. Why would the IRS want a credit card number? Besides, I'd already filed.
Turns out the IRS has that on their home page:
Quote:
The IRS has seen several variations of a refund-related bogus e-mail which falsely claims to come from the IRS, tells the recipient that he or she is eligible for a tax refund for a specific amount, and instructs the recipient to click on a link in the e-mail to access a refund claim form. The form asks the recipient to enter personal information that the scamsters can then use to access the e-mail recipient’s bank or credit card account.
In a new wrinkle, the current version of the refund scam includes two paragraphs that appear to be directed toward tax-exempt organizations that distribute funds to other organizations or individuals. The e-mail contains the name and supposed signature of the Director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations business division.

This e-mail is a phony. The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail about tax account matters to individual, business, tax-exempt or other taxpayers.

Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is no separate application form. Taxpayers who wish to find out if they are due a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the “Where’s My Refund?” interactive application on this Web site, IRS.gov. The only official IRS Web site is located here at www.irs.gov.
I went to the real IRS site, saw the above and deleted the email, only to find out that the IRS would like all phishing IRS scams to be forwarded. Oh well...
If anyone gets what looks to be a legitimate email from the IRS, know that they never initiate emails, never ask for CC information or other personal information. They suggest that if anything comes looking legit, type in www.irs.gov instead of clicking on a provided link. The phony looks identical in every way to the IRS site with one glaring omission-there's no news page revealing the scam.

Hopefully, this will show up, but this is the link to the phony page:http://www.charlie-colop.com.mx/sopo...=96596,00.html This is the link to the real: http://www.irs.gov/index.html
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the heads up.

In my honest opinion, this thread really should have a better title stating that there is an IRS email scam.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In most cases a simple look at the URL will tell you if it's legit or not but some phishing sites can fool you even with a good URL.

For the most part, if an agency, company, or any type of institute needs to contact you they're gonna send it through the mail or call you. Email is way too flaky to be used as any sort of communication for an important message unless it's your work email from a coworker.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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we got a few of those that made it through to our company email. we caught on pretty quik to that crap.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Only makes sense that scammers would make use of tax season. Thanks for posting about it here.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I got one, but I'm not filing this year, so I knew it couldn't be true. So I used my little "report phishing" button, and that was that.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: In the room where the giant fire puffer works, and the torture never stops.
ANY unsolicited email that directs you to a page asking for personal (ss#) or financial (cc#) information is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS one of two things:

1. spam (as in they are trying to sell you something)

or

2. a scam (as in they are trying to steal from you)


if people would just learn this one simple rule....
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Have you ever given the IRS your email address? That would've been a big clue :-p
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
peekaboo
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xepherys
Have you ever given the IRS your email address? That would've been a big clue :-p
Actually, no. We filed online and used the spouse's email addy. That was the first red flag....Once I clicked on the link provided and saw requests for my CC number and bank name, I was pretty sure this was a scam. The question marks really started when I compared the two pages, fake to real-took some clicking around on the real one to see the truth because I didn't look at the browser window to see the full link. That was a DUH!......
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The page is down, and even better.... Firefox freaks out when you to the link. It says THIS IS A SUSPECTED WEB FORGERY with a big popup. I guess the news got around to Firefox/Google about this specific URL.
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
peekaboo
 
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Location: on the back, bitch
Quote:
Originally Posted by JinnKai
The page is down, and even better.... Firefox freaks out when you to the link. It says THIS IS A SUSPECTED WEB FORGERY with a big popup. I guess the news got around to Firefox/Google about this specific URL.
The IRS has an email address devoted to phishing. I know I sent the link to it and probably several more did as well. That was even faster than I got my refund(the real one)
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