Email Scam Uses IRS to Target People


Thursday, December 11th 2008, 7:45 pm
By: News 9


By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new email scam is circulating the country that claims to be from the IRS to target people and steal their personal information.

When Oklahoman received the email, it raised a big red flag. Lex Sehl gets dozens of emails every day, but one in particular caught his eye that claimed to be from the IRS.

The email told Sehl is was a non-resident alien and he was not subject to his taxes being withheld. Then the email asked for a form to be faxed back so he could be exempt. The form asked for social security numbers, bank account information and passport information.

"All sorts of very personal information, being a taxpayer and every year I file my taxes, they should have all this stuff," Lehl said.

The email is not just trying to scam non-resident aliens, but U.S. citizens too.

"It says if you're a U.S. citizen, please complete form W-4100b2 and fax it to us," Sehl said.

Sehl was surprised to see the message sent to his work email. It was suspicious enough that he told his manager and it turned out a co-worker also got the same scam in their inbox.

"I started to wonder if someone like my mother got this, they may think it's legitimate," Sehl said.

The email looks authentic and even contains ‘irs.gov' as the email extension from the sender, but it's far from the real deal.

It's a scam because the IRS does not tell non-U.S. citizens that they do not have to pay taxes. The IRS also doesn't need the personal information the email claims to need. The IRS does not ask for personal information at all unless it is initiated by you.

If you have a question about this scam or suspicious email, you can call the IRS at 800-829-1040.