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Tax Scams

One of our customers recently reported receiving phishing email from someone posing as an IRS employee and instructing the recipient to complete an attached form W-8, but return it to a bogus email address where the phisher will have access to the victim's personal identity. Another phishing email appears to come from the IRS and includes a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. This email contains the direction to “update your IRS e-file immediately.” Still another scam is happening via telephone, as aggressive and sophisticated callers claiming to be IRS employees use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. These callers may know a lot about their targets, and usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. Don't fall for these types of scams. The IRS does not contact you by phone or email. For more information on what to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication, visit the IRS website, or to find out more about these types of scams, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts.

F&M Security Tip: Always question the legitimacy of emails and social networking messages that ask for money or personal information. Don't open unknown attachments, don't click on unknown links, and don't share too much information online.

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