The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning about a new e-mail scam that has been hitting people's inboxes, offering unwary recipients $80 to participate in an online customer satisfaction survey that falsely purports to come from the IRS.
The e-mail contains From and Subject lines that appear to originate from the IRS, as well as a copyright statement that also claims to be from the agency. The message includes a hyperlink that takes the unsuspecting recipient to an online survey that asks for the taxpayer's name, phone number and credit card account.
The IRS warns that the scammers may try to use the information to run up charges on the victim's credit card account. There is even the possibility that the scammers might call the victim and try to obtain further financial information so they can get access to a bank account.
The IRS said, however, that it never sends unsolicited e-mail messages, and it never requests taxpayers to divulge their PIN codes, credit card numbers or similar information.
This is not the first phishing scheme the IRS has warned about this summer. In July, the agency cautioned about fake messages claiming to originate from an IRS "Fraud Department" (see IRS Warns Against Fake E-mails).
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