IRS warns of Internet 'phishing' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

IRS warns of Internet 'phishing'

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service is warning people about the dangers of Internet "phishing" by criminals looking for confidential financial information. It's topping the annual list of scams people should be aware of.

Officials say people also shouldn't fall for predators posing as IRS agents asking for information needed for their rebate. The payment will be sent out automatically to anyone filing a return.

Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff told Congress yesterday that people have forwarded thousands of e-mails to the agency, reflecting more than 1,500 different schemes. Thieves use information to empty victims' bank accounts, run up credit card charges or apply for loans in the victims' names. 

A taxpayers advocate is urging the IRS to take a coordinated approach on identity theft.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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