Yesterday I received an email that looked like it came from the IRS. The subject was ominous:

Notice of Unreported Income

I can tell you, it gave me that hollow feeling in my stomach, like when you know you’re in for some really bad news.

In the body of the email it gave some official looking information and a link:

Taxpayer ID: support-00000174073547US
Tax Type: INCOME TAX
Issue: Unreported/Underreported Income (Fraud Application)

Please review your tax statement on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website (click on the link below):

review tax statement for taxpayer id: support-00000174073547US

Internal Revenue Service

There was a link in the email that at first glance did look like it came from the IRS website. The link started with http://www.irs.gov….. which I know to be the actual IRS website. However, when I looked at the entire link, I saw that the domain was actually www.irs.gov.eu, which means that it is a European site. I took it a step further and plugged that “issue” into a search engine and the very first result was for news site that was reporting this as an identity theft scam. Another of the search results was from one of my favorite sites, Snopes.com.

The IRS website has a page where you can report phishing emails that appear to be coming from the IRS.

If you receive one of these emails, don’t open any attachments or click on any links in it.  In fact don’t even open it.

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15 Responses to “Scam Alert: Unreported/Underreported Income Email”

  1. Cassie says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I will be mindful of always checking into letters and emails that may be a scam!
    .-= Cassie´s last blog ..Let the MonaVie Company Open Up To you =-.

  2. Diana says:

    I got an official looking notice the other day from Pay Pal claiming there was a possible fraud perpetrated against my account. I assumed it had something to do with the last transaction, and clicked on the link before it even occurred to me it might be a scam. Well, turned out the link went nowhere, and when I looked at the whole thing, I realized it was not Pay Pal’s link. Sure look convincing, though. I immediately signed into my Pay Pal account and checked all my transactions, and reported it (along with the link to the phony site) to their security department. They reviewed my transactions again with me, and told me nothing had happened, but to change my password and security question just to be on the safe side. And, of course, to be sure to check the sender’s info before opening any links. Per their instructions, I cut and pasted the link so they could investigate it further. Unbelievable to think I was tricked again. It’s happened before.

    This, of course, is the scarier side of using the Internet, and one everyone has to take every precaution in dealing with. Thanks for sharing the information. We can never be too careful.

  3. Elisha says:

    As a fellow worker from home – gee, that sounded poorly said – it’s awesome to find your blog! I’ll be keeping an eye on this one. ^-^

    As for phishing scams and the like, aren’t they creepy? It makes you feel really close to disaster, in a way. That’s how I feel, anyway. ^-^

  4. iWorldDirect says:

    Many people would fall for this type of scam. Just the mention of the IRS sends chills down many people’s back. They may become nervous and just do whatever the email tells them. It’s a good thing people like you are getting the word out about scams like this.
    .-= iWorldDirect´s last blog ..Doing What you Love Part 2 =-.

  5. sharon says:

    So true! I definitely felt that chill when I received the first one. Of course I’ve received the same message about 50 times since then ;)

    Reminds me of when I was on the board of our local girls softball association. I received an official looking letter saying that we were going to our non-profit status if we didn’t file certain paperwork. It went on to say that we would need to have them fill out the forms and that there was a $180 fee. It looked like an official IRS form. It even had board member’s names and addresses on it (not the current ones, but old ones that had in fact been on the board). Luckily, I read all the way through and way at the bottom in teeny, tiny print was a line that said, “This notice was not sent by the U.S. Government and is in no way connected with the IRS”. I’ll bet a lot of people just paid the fee, not wanting to be responsible for losing non-profit status for their organization.

  6. Oqab Mohamed says:

    I received that too, in fact multiple times.
    I am Canadian, i live and work in Canada…

    becareful out there
    cheers

  7. Kaila Colbin says:

    Thanks for this — I consider myself an advanced Internet user and I completely fell for this one!

    All the best,
    Kaila
    .-= Kaila Colbin´s last blog ..Thank you to a thoughtful mother =-.

  8. Dave says:

    Phishing scams seems to be becoming more and more scam sophisticated. Thanks for pointing out about it.

  9. Thanks for the information! It’s a shame that there are so many people who are willing to take advantage of other people’s trust… The key is to thoroughly research the notice or work at home opportunity before taking any action. General rule of thumb is, banks, IRS and other reputable organizations will not use email as their primary means of correspondence, but they will send a letter via the US postal service or ring you via phone. Be very careful of any email warning or opportunity.
    .-= Holly – The Work at Home Woman´s last blog ..The Work at Home Woman is Looking for Guest Bloggers! =-.

  10. MTeng says:

    We’ve been getting these emails for over a month where I work. We’ve had several people respond to them including our accounting department. One thing that seems to get missed by everyone that has responded to these is, how did the IRS know your work email address? The tax payer ID they show is also the first part of your email address. I thought it was your SSN. Anyway, these have been pretty easy to spot compared to some of the more polished banking ones we’ve seen that include official looking letter head and links to websites that look just like the official bank site.

  11. Sam says:

    Yep, I am getting three of these everyday. And somehow they manage to put my name in the subject line too. Very ingenious,eh! Yes I checked the domain, it is actually not the irs.gov domain but a subdomain that starts with http://www.irs.gov
    .-= Sam´s last blog ..Get back ex boyfriend with these simple tricks =-.

  12. Dave says:

    Hi Sharon.

    Many thanks for posting the message above: “Scam Alert: Unreported/Underreported Income Email”. I got the “IRS” message and it almost scared me into clicking the link. I’m sure I’m not alone – and God knows how many other folks have been victimized by this. That thing is purely diabolical.

    I received it through my institutional (UCONN) e-mail and immediately reported it to UCONN’s IT security – however I think they are getting swamped by this kind of thing.

    A bit of dissection and net searching I did on the message led to your site. THANK YOU!!!!! The sense of relief I got after looking at the posting above was enormous! You have done a real public service by letting folks on the receiving end of the above scam that they have NOT been put on some kind of government hit list.

    God Bless You! – Dave
    Sincerely,
    David Haines, Ph.D.
    Visiting Research Professor
    Faculty of Pharmacy
    Health Science Center
    University of Debrecen
    Nagyerdei krt. 98
    4032-Debrecen Hungary

  13. Dave says:

    All – one additional comment:

    I’m responding to MTeng (above) – who makes a good point:

    - “…how did the IRS know your work email address? The taxpayer ID they show is also the first part of your email address”.

    Yes, this is true – and there are other features of this kind of phishing message that reveal it to be false. But… getting damn near anything from the IRS may induce blind panic even (and especially) if you know yourself to be clean. The government NEVER makes… uhhhh…admits mistakes, as plenty of innocents have discovered the hard way. So never mind logic, for a 21st Century American, getting a message like the aforementioned one, is probably a bit akin to what a citizen of Spain c1450 might have felt on getting a query from local religious authorities about “consorting with Devils” and such.

    And yes.. the IRS does “put to the Question” those deemed to be apostate. It’s called an “audit”. :( !

    Carpe Diem! – Dave

  14. Dave says:

    SCAM ALERT (please spread the word!)

    ALL: “xanshop” is fraudulent! NEVER NEVER OPEN IT. They hack accounts and send messages to all on their victim’s mailing lists urging recipients to open the xanshp site. Anyone reading their pitch closely, will understand from the clumsy grammar that the perpetrators are Nigerian, Pakistani, Channel Islanders or some other bloody wogs. However the danger in these messages is that they apparantly come from sources a recipient would be inclined to trust – and thus click on the xanshpt site. This thing is toxic! Try and get the message details from any e-mail you get with xanshop in it and trace it back to the source – then spread the word. Also, by all means report it to your IT security.

  15. Muchos Gracias for your post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

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