Phishing scam targets taxpayers

Feb. 16, 2009 at 10:29 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. officials say scammers are pretending to be the Internal Revenue Service to get taxpayers' financial information by fax.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday that the scam begins with an e-mail pretending to be from the IRS. It asks the recipient to fill out an attached form and fax it back to a phone number along with a copy of a passport or driver's license.

The form includes fields for the recipient's Social Security number and bank account information, the newspaper reported.

"To be honest with you, that's pretty clever," said IRS spokesman David Stewart. "They're using our very own forms on the attachments. ... We've always said don't reply but we never said don't fax anybody."

The IRS never e-mails requests for private information, Stewart said.

"We're not going to ask for Social Security numbers, bank accounts, PINs and passwords. That's just not going to happen," he said.

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