IRS Warns of Tax-Time Phishing Terror

Dennis Faas's picture

As if doing your taxes weren't annoying enough, now the Internal Revenue Service is warning American citizens that a phishing scheme is reaping important personal details by posing as a free tax-filing agency. It seems no one knows better than the IRS that nothing -- and we mean nothing -- is free.

It's a fairly bad time for such a scam, considering Tuesday's tax filing deadline. Those behind the offence clearly know that anyone still left to complete the necessary forms are desperate for help as the clock strikes twelve.

The threat is making its way to the frantic via emails, with the malicious ones posing as members of the Free File Alliance, an actual program put together to do just as it sounds -- allow select users to file online for no charge. (Source:

Then what?

The IRS is onto a few Free File posers, who reportedly take customer information and then deposit the return into a separate bank account. Some particularly ambitious forms of the scam are even asking users to include their credit card information, as if this might speed up the filing.

As a means to protect Americans from such threats, the friendly IRS is offering a few handy tips:

  • We don't send out emails asking for personal information, so don't be duped by such nonsense.
  • Completely avoid any tax advice site not associated with the IRS. Be critical of any suggestions offered by anyone, ever.
  • Make sure you've got your computer antivirus software up to date.

None of the above are particularly surprising, although a few Americans may be surprised to hear that the IRS still doesn't operate in any way by using email (unless special circumstances apply). (Source:

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