Thursday, February 12, 2009

Be Aware, Be Very Aware

American Scofflaw

El Pasoans beware of an e-mail scam that is making the rounds.

The e-mail claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service and asks people to complete a W-4100B2 form. The form asks for a name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, bank account and other personal information.

The e-mail states, "Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America tax reporting and withholdings. ... Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing form W-4100B2, and return to us as soon as possible through the fax number: +1-646-519-7245."

Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman, said the e-mail has the IRS seal and may look real.

Sending fraudulent e-mails, also called phishing, is used in an attempt to scam a person into providing private information that can be used in identity theft, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Office of Investigations, which investigates e-mail scams.

Sanford said the IRS never sends e-mails to get in contact with people. Those who receive an e-mail that claims to be from the IRS should delete them or forward them to

"Don't even open it. ... People have tax refunds on their mind. Don't fall victims to a scam," he said. Con artists "use realistic looking artwork. They're getting more and more realistic every year."

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