The Internal Revenue Service has issued a consumer alert about an Internet scam where taxpayers receive an e-mail informing them that they are owed a tax refund. The e-mail, which claims to be from the IRS, directs the consumer to a link that requests personal information, such as Social Security number and credit card information.

The bogus e-mail, which appears to come from "tax ," tells the recipient that they are eligible to receive a tax refund and then directs them to access a form for the tax refund through a link contained in the e-mail. The link then asks for the personal and financial information.

The IRS does not ask for personal identifying or financial information via unsolicited e-mail. Additionally, taxpayers do not have to complete a special form to obtain a refund. The IRS is telling consumers who receive a suspicious e-mail not to open any file attachments and to contact the agency at (800) 829-1040 to verify whether the IRS is trying to contact them about a tax refund.

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