Don't Be Fooled By IRS Phishing Scams


You have to give scammers credit: they sure don't give up.

There's another set of IRS phishing emails making the rounds this week. I've seen two versions, one purporting to be from "info" and another from "support" Both have headers announcing "IRS notification." To be clear, both are scams and should be ignored, deleted or forwarded along to Do not reply and do not open the attachments.

Here's a jpg of one of the emails:

View photo


Here's the plain text version of the same email:

Important information about your tax return

We are unable to process your tax return

We recived your tax return. However, we are unable to process the return as field.

Our records indicate that the person identifiedas the primary taxpayer or spouse on the tax return did not provided all the required documents shown on the tax form. Our records are based on information received from the Social Security Administration.

Based on this information, the tax account for the individual has been locked

What you need to do

Print out the attached notification and list of missing documents, fill it in, add the documents and send the following information to the adress shown in the attached notification.

List of required documents:

  1. A copy of this letter
  2. Notification letter
  3. A photocopy of valid U.S. Federal or State Government issued identification.

Keep this notice for your records.

You'll note a number of typos - those are in the email, not mine. Recived? As field? Adress? C'mon folks, even the IRS has spell check.

As I’ve posted before the IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails to taxpayers. If you receive an e-mail purporting to be from the IRS, it’s likely a scam. Be careful.

Most of these scams try to get you to reveal your personal or financial information. Do not reveal any of this information via e-mail. Don’t follow any links from these e-mails to any web sites where you might be asked for the same information.

Other e-mails may have attachments or links which download viruses or other malware onto your computer. Some of this malware, such as those associated with the Zeus family, may "lift" financial and other personal information from your computer. Even if you don't manually input personal information into these sites, the malware allows the scammers to track your personally identifiable information and raid your accounts.

Bottom line: the IRS will never initiate contact with you via email. They won't ask you to click links to fix your tax information or verify your tax account. You will not get audited via email. You will not be advised of a snafu in your refund via email.

If you're worried that you actually might need to talk to IRS, call them up (1.800.829.1040). Don't click on an attachment or reply to an email purporting to be from the IRS.

And to be safe, delete, delete, delete. Don't click on links. Don't open any attachnments. Don't investigate on your own - the IRS has folks who will do this for you. If you want to do something, you can forward the e-mail to the IRS at And then delete it.

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