The Internal Revenue Service flatly states about its own practices: “The IRS does not send taxpayers e-mails about their tax accounts.”
So, if your email in-box has a message saying that its from “Internal Revenue Service [email@example.com]” with a subject line of “Notice of Underreported Income” you can know, from the start, that this message is a fake.
This message is apparently being sent to gazillions of email addresses.
The text of one I received today reads as follows:
Taxpayer ID: arp-0000174073547US
Tax Type: INCOME TAX
Issue: Unreported/Underreported Income (Fraud Application)
Please review your tax statement on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website (click on link below):
review tax statement for taxpayer id: arp-0000174073547US
Internal Revenue Service
This is plainly a fake, and a scam, probably designed to steal the recipient’s identity, or install malicious software on the recipient’s computer.
Steve Ragan of The Tech Herald (thetechherald.com) reports that this bogus message is being sent out at a rate approaching 90,000 an hour, and that the goal of it is, in fact, to trick computer users to install malicious software onto their computers.
So the quick thought here: don’t fall for it, don’t click on the link in this bogus email which is designed to do harm.