Scam Emails from the IRS?

irs.jpgWell, let’s clarify that a “small bit”. There is a scam that’s perpetrating to be a legitimate email from the Internal Revenue Service. Computer Associates, CA’s Brian Grayek provides these 6 tips for a safe 2008 tax season:
1. Don’t click on links sent by the “IRS” or a tax preparation firm. The IRS does not initiate contact electronically.
2. Don’t respond to email from the “IRS” or a tax professional asking for account numbers or personal information. Remember, the IRS never initiates communications through e-mail. To check legitimacy, call the IRS (1-800-829-1040).
3. Double check the URLs that you type into your Web browser window. All IRS.gov Web page addresses begin with http://www.irs.gov/. Mistyping an address can direct you to a compromised site where cybercriminals can steal personal or financial information.


4. Check the “extension name” of an email attachment before opening. Cybercriminals email Trojans and worms as attachments with “.scr,” ”.com” and “.exe” file extensions. Once a worm is executed, it will attempt to spread to other systems, and private data could be destroyed or sent to third parties.
5. For refunds and payments, use a verified online payment system certified by the IRS. Available options are posted at http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=97400,00.html.
6. Notify the IRS if you receive a suspicious e-mail that claims to come from the IRS. Relay that e-mail to an IRS mailbox, phishing@irs.gov. This can help officials shut the scam down.
Additional Resources:
CA 2008 Internet Threat Outlook
http://www.ca.com/securityadvisor/newsinfo/collateral.aspx?cid=163125
CA Blog
http://www.ca.com/securityadvisor/
IRS – E-filing Information
http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118508,00.html

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook