It's approaching the end of January, and that time of year -- time to start thinking about filing your tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Lately, at the same time, the Internet has also become a hotbed for phishing scams trying to capture your personal information and even, quite possibly, to pocket your tax refund and much worse.
Don't fall for ANY "official-looking" emails you get that appear to be from the IRS. This includes ones requesting your personal or financial information as well as those containing malicious attachments, such as the one I received today (pictured above) claiming a criminal complaint against my company. That's because the official IRS website says they will never initiate contact via email.
"The IRS doesn't contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts." From the IRS Page on Phishing
What to do if you receive a suspicious email according to the IRS
- Don't reply
- Don't open any attachments
- Don't click on any links
- Forward the email as is to email@example.com
- Delete the email in question
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