CREATED Jan. 17, 2012
NAPLES – New signs that cyber crooks are now ramping up to steal your money during this tax season.
"I came in this morning and I went ahead and I checked my work email and I noticed that I ended up getting an email from the IRS," said Kori Gowan.
The email stated that she was owed a $556.21 refund from the IRS and that she needed to click on the link provided for the money to be sent to her.
She thought it was legitimate because the extension on the email address read @irs.gov, but after clicking on the link, Gowan new something didn't seem right because the web page that she says looked just like an IRS website wanted her personal information...."my date of birth, my social security, all my credit card information including all the little identification on the back,"
She realized it was a scam and called the real IRS to report the bogus email and website.
Officials told her the email was a phishing scam, when crooks make fake websites that look like legitimate businesses to trick unsuspecting victims into giving up their personal information.
Phishing scams that pretend to be the IRS are so common that the organization has a website devoted to educating the public to the deception.
The very top of the page reads a note that all taxpayers should be aware of during tax season.
"The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information."