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ElectroFile Income Tax Service Newsletters
Income Tax Service
5200 W Market St
Greensboro, NC 27409
November 28, 2017
National Tax Security Awareness Week:
Recognize Phishing Email Scams
The IRS reminds people to be on the lookout for new, sophisticated
email phishing scams. These scams not only endanger someone’s personal
information, but they can also affect a taxpayer’s refund in 2018.
This tip is part of National Tax Security Awareness Week. The IRS is
partnering with state tax agencies, the tax industry and groups across
country to remind people about the importance of data protection.
Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to get personal
information from the user. In many cases, the criminal fools someone into
believing the phishing email is from someone they trust. The emails often
have the look and feel of authentic communications. These targeted
messages can trick even the most cautious person into doing something
may compromise data.
People should be vigilant and skeptical. Even if the email is from a
known source, people should use caution because cybercrooks are very good
at mimicking trusted businesses, friends and family.
Here are six examples of email phishing scams:
Emails requesting personal information. The thief might ask for bank
account numbers, passwords, credit cards and Social Security numbers.
This is the most common way thieves steal data.
An email urgently warning the recipient to update online financial
accounts at a hyperlink provided in the email. The link goes to a fake
A message with an email address spoofing a familiar address to look
like trusted businesses, friends and family. The fake address has a
slight change in text, such as
. Merely changing
the 'm' to an 'rn' can trick people.
Emails saying the recipient has a tax refund waiting at the IRS or
that the IRS needs information about insurance
policies. The IRS doesn't initiate spontaneous contact with
taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
The message has hyperlinks that take someone to a fake site. In one
example, the email says: “Following recent calculations, we notice that
you are eligible to receive a tax refund. In order to start the refund
procedure, please visit this link and follow the steps required.” The
link goes to a fake site. The IRS doesn’t send emails asking for refund
The message includes a PDF attachment that may download malware or
viruses. Never open an attachment from a suspicious email address.