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Maryland taxpayers warned of email phishing scam

Taxpayers advised not to open email and give personal information

4/4/2014, 6 a.m.

— Comptroller Peter Franchot alerted taxpayers about a new phishing scam aimed at garnering personal information from taxpayers.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials are reporting incidents of taxpayers receiving emails allegedly from the agency’s Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). The email using the TAS logo contains a bogus case number and states: “Your reported 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error. Your case has been forwarded to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance. To avoid delays processing your 2013 filing contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance.”

The email contains a link for the recipient to find contact information for the “advocate” assigned to the case. It asks for personal information such as the recipient’s legal name and contact information and has a link to review reported income.

The IRS advises taxpayers who may get this message to NOT click on the link and to forward the email to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. Taxpayers also may find instructions for forwarding the message on its website at IRS.gov.

"I urge all taxpayers who have received suspicious emails to forward them immediately to the IRS,” Comptroller Franchot said. ”Do not click on any links or reply to the message. The IRS and the Comptroller's Office do not contact taxpayers in this fashion, and we do not ask people to confirm their reported income online. Please be careful of your personal information, and be sure to tell your friends and neighbors to be careful of any suspicious-looking messages that ask for personal information."