Originally created 12/01/05

IRS warns against e-mailed tax refund scam



WASHINGTON - The nation's tax collectors warned consumers Wednesday not to be fooled by a bogus e-mail that appears to come from the Internal Revenue Service and promises a tax refund.

The e-mail is an identity theft "phishing" scam that attempts to fool recipients into revealing personal and financial information. The e-mail directs recipients to a link that requests information such as a Social Security number and credit card information.

Identity thieves could use the personal data to steal a taxpayer's identity, use the taxpayer's credit cards, apply for additional credit cards or loans and do other financial damage.

The IRS said it does not ask for personal identification or financial information through unsolicited e-mails. Taxpayers do not have to complete a special form to collect a refund.

Taxpayers can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to find out whether the agency is trying to contact them about a refund.

On the Net:

Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov