Apparently scammers are at it again. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that scammers posing as the IRS are sending fraudulent e-mails to people.

The IRS reminds us that they generally don’t contact taxpayers using e-mail.

In May and June people reported more than 700 phishing scams to the IRS. The total for 2008 is 1,600. Thieves ask for your personal information like bank account numbers in a phishing e-mail. Once they have it, they use it to steal your financial identity.

“Taxpayers should take steps to keep their personal information out of the hands of identity thieves,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “That includes not falling for any of the phony e-mails or faxes now in circulation pretending to come from the IRS.”

The two most common scams currently are a tax refund scam and an economic stimulus scam. In the tax refund scam you get an e-mail saying to respond so that you can get your tax refund. The only way to get a tax refund is to file a tax return, according to the IRS.

In the economic stimulus scam, the e-mail says you’re eligible for a stimulus payment and to click here to fill out a form. Again you can only get your stimulus payment after filing a tax return.

If you have tax questions visit – don’t click any links out of e-mails. And if an e-mail sounds too good to be true it probably is.

July 11, 2008