Sunday, 26 May 2024

SCAM ALERT: Resident receives IRS refund scam

LAKE COUNTY – Another Internet scam has surfaced locally, this time using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a front.


An area resident contacted Lake County News Friday to say that she had received an e-mail telling her that she was entitled to a tax refund.


The e-mail directed her to respond in order to get the proper forms. She was concerned because she had not previously given the IRS her e-mail address.


She immediately contacted the IRS via its Web site at www.irs.gov.


The IRS responded by e-mail, telling her, “The IRS does not e-mail taxpayers requesting private confidential information. This is a scam. Do not respond to the e-mail. We also recommend that you contact the postmaster general.”


Using the names of government agencies as part of e-mail scams isn't new.


Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigations' Internet Crime Complaint Center reported on the use of fraudulent e-mails using the FBI's name and its director, Robert Mueller, on false lottery endorsement and inheritance notifications.


Another e-mail scam claimed to be from a U.S. military official requesting funds on behalf of U.S. troops overseas, according to the FBI.


A third spam e-mail scheme claimed to be from the Department of Justice, warning the recipients that they have been the subject of complaints filed with the DOJ. The e-mails even include an attachment that is supposed to be a copy of the complaints against the e-mail recipient.


The FBI reported that these spam e-mail messages are hoaxes and should be immediately deleted.


The agency also warned consumers to be wary of unsolicited e-mails that request them to take any information – even clicking on an attachment – because doing so could launch viruses, Trojan horse programs or other malicious software on their computers.


Anyone who has received such messages is urged to file a complaint online at the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.ic3.gov/. The site also offers tips on computer safety. More information on protecting yourself from Internet scams also can be found at www.fbi.gov/becrimesmart.htm.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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