Hank Silverberg, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Consumers are not used to seeing emails from the Internal Revenue Service in their inboxes, so when they do, many click and shouldn't.
Big mistake, says IRS spokesperson Peggy Riley. These emails are likely a scam.
"If we're going to be contacting you about a bill or anything we are questioning on your tax return, we are going to do it by mail," Riley says.
"Nor would we be asking for any personal information that I'm sure some of these scammers are looking for," she says.
Riley warns not to reply to these emails with any information and to stay away from links in the emails as well. Any link could be yet another attempt to steal information, Riley says.
The IRS has more information about scam emails and what to look for on its website.
If consumers see emails like this, the agency asks that they forward them to the actual IRS by sending them to the address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Then, delete the original emails.
Riley says this type of information "phishing" increases as the tax deadline gets closer.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)