Author Topic: IRS Issues Warnings on Fraudulent Use of IRS Name, Logo by Phishers  (Read 424 times)

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Offline NOLAJBS

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Title: IRS Issues Warnings on Fraudulent Use of IRS Name, Logo by Phishers
Date: 3/21/2006
Source: IT News Online Staff

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued several consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers' financial data in order to steal their assets.

The IRS said fraudsters might use its name because most consumers recognize it, have had prior communication with or from the IRS (such as receiving annual tax form and instruction packages) and have previously provided the IRS some financial data (such as that contained on tax returns).

As a general rule, the IRS said it does not send out unsolicited emails or ask for detailed personal information. It also does not ask people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

Tricking consumers into disclosing their personal and financial data, such as secret access data or credit card or bank account numbers, is identity theft. Such schemes perpetrated through the Internet are called "phishing" for information. The information fraudulently obtained is then used to steal the taxpayer's identity and financial assets.

Typically, identity thieves use someone's personal data to steal his or her financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name and even file fraudulent tax returns. Identity theft usually causes immediate financial losses for the victims, who may also encounter lingering credit and other problems as a result of the identity theft.

Identity theft schemes take numerous forms. Identity theft may be conducted by email (phishing), standard mail, telephone or fax. When the IRS learns about schemes involving use of the IRS name, it tries to alert consumers as well as authorities that can shut down the scheme, if possible.

The IRS said it had recently come across emails claiming to be from tax-refunds@irs.gov, admin@irs.gov or other variations on the irs.gov theme, which told the recipients that they were eligible to receive a tax refund for a given amount. It directed recipients to claim the refund by using a link contained in the email, which sent the recipient to a Web site. The site, a clone of the IRS Web site, displayed an interactive page similar to a genuine IRS one; however, it had been modified to ask for personal and financial information that the genuine IRS interactive page does not require.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has reported that it found 12 separate Web sites in 18 different countries hosting variations on this scheme.

To protect against potential identity thieves, the IRS has advised people to take the following steps:

- Be skeptical of communications you receive from sources you are not expecting. Verify the authenticity of phone calls, standard mail, faxes or emails of questionable origin before responding.

- Do not click on links contained in possibly questionable emails; instead, go directly to the site already known to be genuine. For example, the only address for the IRS Web site is www.irs.gov, any other variations on this will not lead to the legitimate IRS Web site.

- Do not open attachments to emails of possibly questionable origin, since they may contain viruses that will infect your computer.

POSTER'S COMMENTS: Do you remember the "You visit illegal websites" thread on spam e-mail? What a great tactic to build a case for censoring the internet -- fear. No?
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Offline Dunrobin

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Re: IRS Issues Warnings on Fraudulent Use of IRS Name, Logo by Phishers
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 09:23:56 AM »
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued several consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters...

How dare they!  Don't they know that only the government is allowed to defraud us like that?  What is wrong with some people?

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As a general rule, the IRS said it does not send out unsolicited emails or ask for detailed personal information. It also does not ask people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

 ::)  Unless, of course, they think you've got some money squirreled away that they haven't gotten at yet.

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To protect against potential identity thieves...

Tell the flaming "government" to go to hell!  (And to stuff their damnable Slave Surveillance Numbers up their collective asses!)  We wouldn't even have an "identity theft" problem in this country if the contemptible government didn't create the situation in the first place.
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