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You would think that with the cold winter weather people would want to stay inside, but Phishing is an all weather sport, and the phish du jour is an IRS scam. There are hundreds of these, but they go something like this: You get an email that appears to be from the IRS and they tell you that you have money coming to you. All you have to do is give them some information and they will put the $$$ in your bank or credit card account.
The IRS doesn’t tell you they owe you money, they make you ask for it. Even if they do, now or in the future, do not believe email. It is way too easy to fake the email addresses.
If you receive an email that appears to be from the IRS, your bank, eBay, Paypal, or anyone else asking you to give them information, such as an account number etc., do not use any of the information in the email. Type in the proper web site, such as www.irs.gov in your browser (do not ever use links in email) and find out who to call or where to get more information. The IRS even has a link that talks about the fraudulent emails. You can find it at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=155682,00.html.
Your best bet when you get an email from the IRS, your bank, etc. is to look up the phone number in the phone book and call a number that you know is good, not the number some crook put in a forged email.
You’re smarter than a fish – don’t get hooked with a poisoned gummy worm!
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET