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503-378-6002 or Michael.C.Kron@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General John Kroger is warning Oregonians about fake Internal Revenue Service e-mails, which ask recipients for personal financial information to receive additional stimulus checks. The IRS never uses e-mail to initiate contact with taxpayers, and will never ask for personal information through e-mail. To date, the IRS reports that taxpayers have forwarded them more than 33,000 of these scam e-mails. Taxpayers who receive unsolicited e-mails claiming to be from the IRS can forward the message to a special e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Included in this alert is an example of a scam IRS e-mail.
The most pervasive IRS scam e-mail in circulation relates to economic stimulus payments. In reality, to receive the stimulus payment from the IRS most taxpayers had to do nothing beyond filing their federal tax return. Criminals are posing as IRS representatives to try to trick taxpayers into revealing personal financial information to receive the stimulus money; often referred to as a "rebate" in these scam e-mails.
The alleged IRS e-mails, soliciting personal financial information, are classic "phishing" scams. Phishing is a tactic used by internet-based thieves to trick unsuspecting victims into providing personal financial information, which is then used to access the victim's accounts. Thieves use the victim's information to liquidate financial accounts; apply for loans or credit in the victim's name; and, sell this valuable information to other thieves.
Here are some tips to spot scam e-mails:
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