It can also prevent you from falling prey to scams from people who have the skills to reproduce the IRS logo, but for whatever reason can't spell or punctuate their way to Easy Street.
We tried to ferret out the errors in the phishing scam, but the photo at the news site is too blurry for our old, tired eyes.
At any rate, here's the story. The moral, of course, is that you should pay attention in school if you want to be a really good criminal.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new e-mail scam is posing as an IRS request.
The trick to keeping your computer and identity safe is to not respond and to not open the attachments, experts said.
KMBC's Jim Flink reported that the e-mail contains an IRS seal, but it also has numerous punctuation and spelling errors, which is one of the surest giveaways that it's a scam.
"What they're trying to do is find someone who is gullible enough to fill out these forms and fax it back to them," said Hank Palmer, KMBC's Information Technology manager.
In this case, the forms are asking for extensive personal information, including Social Security numbers, bank accounts and passport pictures. (Read more...)
UPDATE: Barry L. has better eyes than we do. Here's how he reads it:
Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America Tax reporting and withholdings, on interest paid you on your account and other financial dealing to protect your exemption from tax on your account and other financial benefit in rectifying your exemption status.
Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing form W410082, and return it to us as soon as possible through the fax number +1-606-***-****.
If you are a USA Citizen and resident, please complete form W410082 and fax it to us, please indicate "USA Citizen/Resident" on the form and return it to us.
When completing form W410082, please follow the steps below
1. We need you to provide your permanent address if different from the current mailing address on your form W410082 , you must indicate if a non-USA resident, your country of origin to support your non-resident status (if your bank account or other financial dealing has a USA address for mailing purpose).
2. If any joint account holder are now USA residents or Citizen, or in any way subject to USA tax reporting laws, Please check the box in this section.