Email from the IRS?

I received an email yesterday with the dreaded "Internal Revenue Service" in the "From" column.


Naturally, anything you get from the IRS is likely to cause a chill to run down your back.  Maybe your mouth gets a little dry and your hands start to shake a little.  But this message is potentially much more devastating than a real IRS message. 

Notice the subject, "please see the attachment".  I didn't open either attachment (There are two.) 


That was red flag number one.  Shouldn't the people who collect the money be able to count to two?  Shouldn't the subject be "please see the attachments"?  Maybe I'm being nit-picky but isn't the Internal Revenue Service the poster child for nit-pickyness?  I'm just saying.  [Note:  Nothing here should be construed as criticism of the faithful public servants who collect our taxes.  They're just doing their jobs.  Some of my best friends are retired IRS employees. I love the IRS.]

So, in the spirit of the season, I did some research hoping to save you, loyal readers, from any potential problems.  Here's what the IRS says on their web site

"The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail.

  • The IRS does not request detailed personal information through e-mail.
  • The IRS does not send e-mail requesting your PIN numbers, passwords
    or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other
    financial accounts."

That's pretty clear.  If you receive anything like this, the IRS wants to know about it.  It's called phishing.  You can forward the email to them following the instructions on their site.

But most important, the last thing you want to do is turn any personal information over to crooks, even if they're posing as the IRS. 


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