Washington, D.C. (February 23, 2013)  By Jeff Stimpson

The IRS has issued a warning to taxpayers who receive emails claiming to be from the agency.

“Scammers use the IRS name or logo to make the message appear authentic so you will respond to it,” the warning reads, adding that the tactic is actually “phishing” — attempting to trick recipients into revealing personal and financial information, which can lead to ID theft.

The agency advises recipients of e-mails claiming to be from the IRS that they should not:

  • Reply to the message;
  • Open attachments; or,
  • Click on any links in a suspicious e-mail or phishing Web site or enter confidential information


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, which has long warned about phony sites, also points out that it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail or social media channels to request personal or financial information or ask for detailed personal and financial information such as PINs, passwords or similar access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts.