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E-Mails Requesting Payment Information for the IRS Are Fake

The IRS has put out a warning about a new scam that tries to take taxpayers' money by using notices that are supposedly from the IRS. The notices are really from thieves who want personal and financial data.

The victim receives an e-mail that claims to be from the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or EFTPS. The e-mail states that tax payments made by the e-mail recipient through EFTPS have been rejected. It then directs the victim to a website that infects the victim's computer.

Orange County tax attorneys remind you that EFTPS never communicates payment information via e-mail, so any e-mail you receive claiming that a payment has been rejected by EFTPS is fake. If you receive such an e-mail, do not click on any links, open any attachments or reply to the sender.

Any scam that tries to extract someone's financial data is identity theft. Attempts to commit identity theft using e-mail are known as phishing.

Lots of phishing scams try to steal information by sending inquiries that claim to come from the IRS. Generally, though, the IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails to taxpayers. In fact, the IRS does not discuss tax account information with taxpayers via e-mail or use e-mail to request sensitive financial and personal information from taxpayers.

Also, whether by e-mail or by any other communication, the IRS does not request financial account security information, such as PIN numbers, from taxpayers.

Another type of e-mail scam is the advance fee scam. In these, the thieves request money from the target, promising a greater gain for the target in the future. The future gain never arrives.

Many scams that impersonate the IRS send victims to a fake website that imitates the IRS's site, irs.gov. Victims are directed to forms that look authentic, but filling them out gives information to thieves, and may infect the victim's computer with malware. All authentic IRS pages begin with this address:

http://www.irs.gov/index.html

Consult irs.gov for more information on IRS impersonation schemes.

Source: irs.gov "Beware of e-Mail Scams about the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System" 10/15/2010

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