I had another encounter today with the IRS. I received an email with the following subject: “September 2007 Tax Refund.”
In it, was the following text:
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $109.30. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3 days in order to process it.
A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.
To access the form for your tax refund, please click here :
Internal Revenue Service
© Copyright 2007, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A.
Clicking on the link will take you to a site that is designed to look like the IRS website, complete with government branding. Generally, I don’t fall prey to these kinds of emails, but having had a recent tax bill, I thought this could be a legit communication from them. Fortunately, because I use Firefox as my browser, it detected the scam, and warned me that the site was potentially dangerous.
The form that was on the site was a secured form that requested all the regular information, plus my social security number as well as an option to receive my refund as a direct deposit.
Had I not been warned by Firefox and filled the form out, a third party could have potentially gotten my social security number and banking information. Upon further consideration, it didn’t make sense to me that the IRS would have sent me an email and then request information online. It would make more sense that they would have mailed something to me. Even so, I’m usually a pretty savvy guy who isn’t easily fooled. This one was a near miss.
Stay sharp out there, people.