Phishing Scam Targets IRS

Bogus E-mails Report Fake Tax Accounts Freeze
Phishing Scam Targets IRS
Phishing e-mails, feigning to be from the Internal Revenue Service, are reportedly targeting consumers with claims that tax accounts have been locked and require immediate action to reopen.

The e-mails, which appear to come from info and support, according to other news accounts, are the latest in a round of phishing attacks aimed at the IRS.

The e-mails reportedly are not so sophisticated, often containing numerous typos.

When reached for comment, the IRS would not discuss this specific attack, but did provide a link to a list of known e-mail scams targeting consumers under the guise of the IRS.

"The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail to taxpayers either about their tax accounts or requesting sensitive personal and financial information," the IRS states.

Last July, the IRS and the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an international association founded to battle phishing and cyberfraud, teamed to target a similar phishing incident that relied on fax rather than e-mail. [See: Beware Phishing via Fax]

The IRS is a relatively easy target because of its name recognition among consumers, many of whom might not readily recognize a phishing scam.

In this most recent case, the phishy e-mails ask recipients to fill out and mail an attached notification back to the IRS, along with accompanying documents, such as copies of U.S.- or state-issued photo I.D.s.

Similar phishing attacks reported to the IRS have been more traditional, including malicious links and/or attachments rather than also asking consumers to mail personally identifiable information to a physical address.

Phishing attacks against government agencies are not new. In June, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. fell victim to a phishing attack that tried to convince those who received the fraudulent e-mails to click links for more information about "important information from your financial institution."

About the Author

Jeffrey Roman

Jeffrey Roman

News Writer, ISMG

Roman is the former News Writer for Information Security Media Group. Having worked for multiple publications at The College of New Jersey, including the College's newspaper "The Signal" and alumni magazine, Roman has experience in journalism, copy editing and communications.

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