Within the last three weeks, I received an e-mail stating I had an IRS refund that had three cents in change. The e-mail directed me to click on a link whereby I should complete the form sending them my Social Security number, debit card number and the security code on the back of the debit card.
I knew immediately it was a scam. First, if the IRS owed me money, they would mail me a check. But most of all, we do not deal in change on our tax returns.
After reading the e-mail, you were directed to click and go to the form. That next page was in the format of the real IRS Web site. They had various links you could press to go to other segments of the site, just like the genuine IRS site.
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I forget just how it read, but I clicked on something that would take me to my local IRS offices — I just had to put in my ZIP code — and a selection of addresses in my county of Pinellas, Fla., came up. This list included phone numbers. After selecting one of the numbers and dialing it, I got an automated voice telling me to put in my Social Security number.
I know how to override an automated message to speak to an operator so I proceeded to do this. Then, again, an automated voice told me that I could not speak to a live person at that phone number. I then hung up, logged in to the official IRS Web site — www.irs.gov — and on the entry page there was a story about the recent scam that I had experienced.