Email Claiming to Be from IRS Fake

Signs reveal email is a phishing scam

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By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- When two ABC Columbia News employees received an email supposedly from the Internal Revenue Service stating their tax refund had been returned, it sent up a red flag. The phishing emails are going around. We dissect the email to let you know what to look for so you don't get scammed.

The subject line in an email claiming to be from the IRS that reads: 'Income Tax Refund-RETURNED' is enough to scare any taxpayer. The email is going around. IRS spokesperson Mark Green urges taxpayers to be on guard.

"We definitely caution people during this tax season to watch out for scam artists."

A closer look at our email reveals the feds didn't send it at all.

Spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, Juliana Harris, says the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email or social media. That's the first thing you should watch out for.

Harris says there are other ways to tell if the email you receive is a fake.

Watch for misspellings and grammatical errors. The word 'have' in our email is missing the 'E'. Internal Revenue Service says 'Internal Revemue Service' with an 'M'. The request to send additional information is a big red flag and so is the prompt to have you click on embedded links.

Harris and Green warn be safe, not sorry.

"If something freaks you out about an email, double check it before clicking on things," said Harris. "It can unload viruses onto your computer, sometimes asking for sensitive information."

"Make sure you hold onto your valuables, checking and savings account numbers, so it doesn't get used in any way you don't want it to get used," said Green.

The IRS has a section on its website dedicated to these phishing emails. In fact, if you get one, officials want you to send it to them right away. Go to www.irs.gov for more information.
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