A new email scam is targeting consumers nationwide. The email comes with the heading 'Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,' and tries to trick victims into disclosing personal information.
The email gives the appearance of being an official notice from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), complete with an official-looking, albeit poor-quality logo image. In fact, this email is not from the IRS or any other government agency. It's a scam.
The first line reads 'This is in reference to your 2010 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return we seem to have some discrepancies with your filing.' The email goes on to give instructions on how to download an attached form, fill it out with account information for all foreign and domestic bank accounts, and fax it back.
In reality, the IRS would never seek sensitive financial information via email. Recipients of the email that unknowingly comply with its requests risk having their bank accounts emptied by the scammers.
The email also attempts to scare recipients into compliance with the line 'it is a crime to evade or defeat the collection of a federal tax.'
The scam appears to be taking advantage of the recent announcement by the IRS of a legitimate effort to collect owed taxes from offshore accounts. This continues a trend of scammers modeling their schemes after current events in the news in an effort to establish perceived credibility with victims.
Any consumer that receives this email or a similar one should delete it immediately and report the fraud to the IRS by calling 800-829-3637.