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Should I Answer An e Mail Asking For My Tax Information?

Jim, I received an e mail that was allegedly from the IRS.  The e mail contained a link that took me to a page that requested all of my personal information as well as my Social Security Number.  The e mail suggest that I was due a refund, could this be legitimate?

To my knowledge, the IRS does not send out refund notices via e mail.  It is very likely that what you received was a “phishing” e mail (a type of e mail used to steal personal information).  The first tip off would be if the link contained in the e mail did not take you to an official IRS site.  Sometimes this is even very difficult to determine since hiding the URL or obtaining a URL very simlilar to that of an official government site is easy to do.

The general suggestion on any e mail like this, whether it comes from your bank, Pay Pal, or a government agency, is to never follow the links and provide your personal information.  You should go directly to the site and log in to determine if, in fact, that organization is trying to reach you.

For example, I regularly receive e mails asking me to click on a link and log in to resolve an “issue” with my Pay Pal account.  I simply delete the e mail and go over to Pay Pal directly and log in.  I take a moment to review my account status and determine if there might be an issue.  This is the only way to deal with these kinds of e mails, which are becoming very common.

Agree or disagree, or if you would like to add something I did not cover, click on comments below.

Helping you make the most of God’s money!

James L. Paris
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