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June 07, 2007

A client forwarded this email to me (the names are removed to protect the innocent):

Click to enlarge image

This is, of course, a scam. If you get an email like this, don't click on any of the links. Ignore it. Delete it. If you follow the links, the bad guys who sent you this start loading your hard drive with malware that can let them take over your computer. (The above image is a screen shot of the email; you can click on it in perfect safety).

How do we know this is a scam?

First, the IRS does not contact taxpayers by email. If an IRS guy with a badge shows up at your door, then you should start to worry. No IRS guy will start an investigation with an email.

Second, just look at the thing. "You are being investigated for submitting false income tax returns with the Franchise Tax Board"? The IRS has nothing to do with any "Franchise Tax Board."

Third, if the IRS was investigating you because of a snitch, you can be sure they wouldn't tell you who it was. That's a good way for snitches to stop cooperating real fast.

Fourth, the email says they "regret to inform you" that you are being investigated. Rest assured: if they investigate you for criminal tax violations, they don't regret it at all.

Link: IRS news release on this scam.

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