The National Association of Tax Professionals and the IRS are warning about the latest trend in e-mail scams: fake messages purportedly from the IRS "Fraud Department" threatening taxpayers with a "tax avoidance investigation."

The recipient is asked to click on a link in the e-mail to complete an "investigation form," but clicking on the link could activate a Trojan horse that could give a hacker remote control over the user's computer.

The IRS is asking people who receive questionable e-mails claiming to be from the IRS not to click on any links. Instead they should forward the messages to phishing@irs.gov.

Since the IRS established its e-mail fraud mailbox last year, it has received more than 17,700 e-mails from taxpayers reporting more than 240 separate phishing incidents. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has identified host sites in at least 27 different countries.

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