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Thursday, April 19, 2007

It’s too late for this year, but at least you can be on the lookout when filing your 2007 taxes. The crooks have, of course, come up with a way to break even the security of the Internal Revenue Service. Newsweek magazine reports on MSNBC that the IRS discovered the latest scam; one that rivals the phishing tactics that have been prevalent recently. The feds have a program available through the IRS Web site where individuals can prepare and file their taxes free through 19 pre-approved private-sector companies. The phishing comes in where the bad guys pose as one of these companies, and when you enter and provide your info for the return, the crooks simply change your bank account number to theirs, and collect your refund. They don’t know how many incidents have occurred yet, not how much money was lost, but you can bet that this will be headlines in the coming months. Caution: ALWAYS backtrack to the official source when you are giving out sensitive data. NEVER use a Web site that portends to represent someone like a bank or the IRS unless you check them out on the organization’s legitimate site.

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