Warning: The IRS Does Not Ask For Donations

Recently, a new phishing e-mail has been circulating. The e-mail is the IRS asking for donations to help the victims of the California wildfires. The e-mail is a scam. The IRS is not and never will ask for donations, let alone send out an e-mail asking for financial and personal information.

The e-mail seems real enough. It provides links to an IRS website. The website asks for personal and financial information in order to obtain the donation. It seems like a good thing to do. However, do not enter any personal or financial information, the website is not the real IRS website. The information that is asked for is what the scammers use to steal identities, open new lines of credit and ruin peoples’ credit and lives. If that weren’t enough, the links and the e-mail are also thought to contain “malware and other malicious software.”

To protect yourself and help stop the phishing scam the IRS

“urged those who received the scam e-mail to help the IRS shut down the operation by forwarding it to phishing@irs.gov, using instructions found in “how to protect yourself from suspicious e-mails or phishing schemes” on the genuine IRS Web site, http://www.irs.gov.”

On a happier note, the IRS is doing their part to help the wildfire victims. They are extending payment and tax return filing deadlines for victims.

“As California taxpayers start the recovery process, the last thing they should worry about is meeting a tax deadline,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Linda Stiff. “The IRS offers many resources for disaster victims online at IRS.gov, over the phone and in person.”

If you would like to donate to the victims there are several ways in which you can. The LA Times wrote an article with several suggestions of how to help the wildfire victims.

Read the AP’s article for all the details of the e-mail scam.

Author: Dave Nielsen

I started using computers in 1978 on the Apple II and was first online (using my “high-speed” 1200 baud modem) in 1989. I’ve managed web sites for several Fortune 500 companies and for internet start-ups. Working for one of those start-ups is what brought me into the world of credit. I was part of the the executive team that ran QSpace, the first company to offer credit reports over the internet.

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