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Attorney General Warns of Tax Refund Scams

 

PIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Marty Jackley today warned South Dakotans to watch for email messages that claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Refund scams surface each year and consumers must proceed with caution when visiting websites that either associate themselves with the IRS or have the appearance of the IRS site.

Consumers are receiving emails from someone claiming to represent the IRS and informing the recipient about their tax refund and gaining access to personal and financial information. The email will ask the consumer to click on a link that will redirect them to a site that resembles the official IRS website. Bogus emails with the words IRS or government tend to make consumers believe they are coming from the federal government. The IRS does not request personal identifying information over unsolicited emails. If you receive an email that uses the IRS name call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to verify. Do not reply or click on any link you receive from an unsolicited email.

Consumers also need to avoid look-alike IRS websites. The official IRS website is www.irs.gov, but the look-alike sites which use a few different keystrokes are set up to redirect consumers to bogus websites. Once redirected to the fraudulent site the consumer will be asked to disclose personal information such as social security or bank account numbers. It is important to remember the official IRS website offers tax information for consumers, but the exchange of private financial information is limited. Use precaution when logging on to the IRS website and double check your internet address to ensure it is correct.

If you have additional questions about these scams contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or at consumerhelp@state.sd.us.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215