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IRS Warns of New E-mail Scam

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a consumer alert regarding a new, two-step e-mail scam that deceptively promises recipients they will receive $80 for participating in an online customer satisfaction survey.

How it works: An unsuspecting taxpayer receives an unsolicited e-mail that appears to come from the IRS. The message informs the recipient that he or she has been randomly selected to participate in a “Member Satisfaction Survey” and a link is provided to the form. In return, the IRS will credit $80 to the taxpayer’s account.

Clues: References to the IRS in the “from” and “subject” lines of the e-mail. The link to the survey and a copyright statement at the bottom of the e-mail also reference the IRS, and the survey form features the IRS logo.

What to do: The IRS never sends unsolicited e-mail or asks taxpayers for PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Do not open any attachments or click on any links contained in e-mail that appears to come from the IRS. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

For more information on scams like this, check out Florida Realtor magazine’s Oct. 2007 cover story, “Who’s Behind That Smiley Face?” on page 18.