Inbox Insider: Stopping spam before it starts

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Spammers are notorious for taking advantage of current events to get the attention of unsuspecting consumers. The tax season is a good example of a time spammers are looking to contact consumers in order to gain access to personal information that can be used for identity theft. It is a good time to get attention as well, as many consumers are looking forward to hearing from the IRS and getting tax returns.

To help prevent US citizens from being taken advantage of this year the IRS has issued a warning to educate consumers that the goal of these scams is to trick people into giving up personal and financial information such as their Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers.

The IRS warned that any e-mail that purports to be from them with a ‘from' address that ends in a .com, .net or .org is fraudulent. The legitimate ‘from' address ends with a ‘.gov' suffix. In addition, IRS officials said they never ask people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

The agency is advising people to ignore any suspect e-mail and not to open any attachments for fear of malware. Anyone who does receive a suspicious e-mail is asked to forward it to phishing@irs.gov to help prevent this.

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