Warning About Fake IRS E-mails

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email

The IRS is now offering information about how to protect yourself from a fake e-mail being sent out.

It’s an alarming rip-off that caught the attention of authorities.

The e-mail claims to be from the IRS and tries to make you think you have missed the tax deadline. The scam says the deadline was January 31, and references Section 6038. The e-mail can include the subject line, “Penalty for not filing tax return on time.”

But authorities say don’t believe it, you still have until April 17.

11 News received one of these emails from a viewer. It alleges you could owe the IRS up to $10,000 for not filing your income tax returns on time.

Authorities say the alarming part is that it provides you with a link to a fake IRS website. It asks you to enter both personal and financial information, and if you do it could lead to identity theft.

The IRS reminds you that they will never contact you by e-mail or any type of social media and ask for personal or financial information.

Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about these type of phishing scams:

-The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be the IRS or directing you to an IRS site:
-Do not reply to the message
-Do not open any attachments
-Do not click on any links

-The IRS never asks for detailed personal and financial information like PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for credit card, bank, or other financial accounts

-The address to the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Do not be confused or misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but end in .com, .net, .org, or anything other than .gov. And if you view the website, never provide personal information on the suspicious site, and report it to the IRS.

-If you receive a phone call, fax, or letter in the mail from someone claiming to be the IRS, but you suspect something, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

-You can report a suspicious email to phishing@irs.gov.

The IRS suggests you educated about these scams in order to stop them. You can get more information at www.irs.gov. Click on “phishing” on the home page.

11 News showed police the e-mail. They offer a few flags to look for when it comes to fake emails:

-An e-mail address that does not end in .gov or .us
-Improper use of the English language
-Improper spacing between letters
-Hyperlinks that have weird words or don’t make sense

"The English in the e-mail is not that great. It's badly written English. What you could do is read the e-mail aloud and if it doesn't sound right, it's probably not a real e-mail,” said Pueblo Police Det. Gerald LeRay.

Police urge you to protect your Social Security number and card. Here are some ways to protect it:

-Never bring your Social Security card with you in a wallet or purse
-Always lock up your card in a safe or safety deposit box
-Never give your SSN online unless it’s a secure site
-Never email your Social Security information

Below is a copy of the fake e-mail so you can see for yourself the red flags:

From: IRS Tax Notification Department
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:07:21 +0100
Subject: IRS penalty notification
To: boop-op@excite.com

[image] Conta ct IRS
To Whom it May Concern,

We would like to notify you, that you are subject to a penalty for the
failure to file income tax returns by the deadline that is January 31,

Please pay attention, that IRS [Section 6038(b)(1)] rates a pecuniary
penalty to the amount of $10,000 for each [Form 5471] that is
submitted later than the due date of the income tax return, or does
not comprise the thorough information determined in [Section 6038(a)].

No penalty will be imposed on the stipulation that the company proves
that the late filing was due to reasonable cause.

Ple ase enter our official site for more information.

Internal Revenue Service United States
Department of the Treasury
© 2012 IRS

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    "The English in the email is not that great. It's badly written English." Some of the instructions on the IRS website sound like they were written by someone whose second language was English...
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