By: Jennifer Burns
Being contacted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is scary. So when I opened my inbox this week to see an email from them, I about fell over. What in the heck! I thought, “Why is the IRS contacting me?” And before I knew it, a Facebook friend received the same email and unknowingly downloaded a virus. She publicly apologized to her co-workers for spreading the email further than her own machine.
The email dubbed “IRS Notification letter” claims to be unable to process my tax return. (Wait a minute, isn’t this June?)
It said I needed to provide them with more information like a photo copy of the attachments they sent me and a copy of my ID. The attachments on the email were a JPEG and a zipped file. Now, why the IRS would need to send me a photo of themselves—or any photo for that matter—I have no idea. Glad I didn’t click to take a peek.
If you look closely at the email, you will see several grammatical and syntax errors. This is always a good indication that the email is from someone illegitimate. Personally, I imagine a hairy man in old gray sweatpants aggressively typing and muah-ha-ha-ing in a dingy basement somewhere, but that’s just my generalization of these hacking goons.
Besides lacking a spelling edumacation, another good indicator that the email is a scam is when they suggest to contact them, yet provide no actual contact information. For some weird reason, I feel like that information was left out on purpose.
Ok, now be honest, have you ever fallen for a phishing scam like this?