Northwest Colorado residents are advised to be wary of Internet phishing scams through e-mails fraudulently claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.
Phishing is a type of scam through email, phone or fax in which perpetrators pose as legitimate businesses to lure users into providing personal and financial information.
Such scams have included telling people they need to update their latest filings or that they have an unclaimed credit as part of the Making Work Pay provision of the 2009 economic recovery law.
The IRS website states the department does not “initiate taxpayer communications through email,” and that such messages should be considered fraudulent.
Responding to the e-mails with private data could result in loss of funds or identity theft.
Chris Jones, an accountant at Jones & Associates, said clients have contacted his office about the authenticity of the e-mails.
“People tend to take the IRS seriously, and the way the questions are presented, it makes it seem legitimate,” he said.
Jones said he does not believe the phishing e-mails are targeted at any particular age group or demographic.
“They go out to everyone,” he said. “Most people only deal with the IRS once a year, so they don’t know that IRS agents won’t send them e-mails like that.”
For more information on phishing scams and outlets to contact if you have been affected, visit www.irs.gov.