Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is warning people to be on the lookout for scams involving criminals trying to collect personal information. Currently perpetrators are attempting to pass themselves off as the IRS collecting information for payment of the economic stimulus package now in progress. “An e-mail claiming to come from the IRS about the 2008 Economic Stimulus Refund’ tells recipients to click on a link to fill out a form, apparently for direct deposit of the payment into their bank account. This appears to be an identity theft scheme to obtain recipients' personal and financial information so the scammers can clean out their victims' financial Accounts,” a message on the IRS Web site says. A similar scam is being conducted by telephone, the IRS warns taxpayers. “The caller asks the taxpayer for their Social Security and bank account numbers, claiming that the IRS needs the information to complete the processing of the taxpayer's payment. In reality, the IRS uses the information contained on the taxpayer's tax return to process stimulus payments, rather than contacting taxpayers by phone or e-mail,” the Web site says. The IRS says it does not need information in addition to the information on the taxpayer’s 2007 tax return, which must be completed to receive a stimulus package payment. “In reality, taxpayers do not have to fill out a separate form to get a stimulus payment or have it directly deposited; all they had to do was file a tax return and provide direct deposit information on the return,” the IRS Web site says.