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Beware of bogus IRS e-mails

By IRS Denver
Special to The SUN

The Internal Revenue Service has some advice for anyone who receives an out-of-the-blue e-mail claiming to be from the IRS:

• Do not reply to the message.

• Do not open any attachments because they may contain a malicious code that will infect your computer.

• Do not click on any links.

• Do not enter any confidential information.

“Scammers use the IRS name or logo to make the e-mail message appear authentic so you will respond to it,” said IRS  spokeswoman Karen Connelly.  “In reality, it’s a scam known as ‘phishing,’ attempting to trick you into revealing your personal and financial information.”

Connelly stressed that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail and anyone who receives a suspicious e-mail claiming to be from the IRS should forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

She said if you receive an unexpected call, fax or letter from someone claiming to be from the IRS asking about your taxes, you should call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 to determine if the IRS is really trying to contact you.

Connelly also said you should be very cautious anytime someone asks for PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for credit cards or bank accounts.

One last warning is not to be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net or .org.  The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov where you can find more information about scams or other tax subjects.

This story was posted on March 7, 2013.