Phishing has become a huge problem. Criminals (phishermen) spoof (impersonate) a brand or organization that people trust to trick people into giving up their personal, or financial information. The information is then used to steal money.
The most recent version is a spam e-mail intended to scare a person into thinking they are being investigated. Here is what the IRS site is reporting:
The e-mail purporting to be from IRS Criminal Investigation falsely states that the person is under a criminal probe for submitting a false tax return to the California Franchise Tax Board. The e-mail seeks to entice people to click on a link or open an attachment to learn more information about the complaint against them. The IRS warned people that the e-mail link and attachment is a Trojan Horse that can take over the personâ€™s computer hard drive and allow someone to have remote access to the computer.
Since the establishment of the mail box last year, the IRS has received more than 17,700 e-mails from taxpayers reporting more than 240 separate phishing incidents. To date, investigations by TIGTA have identified host sites in at least 27 different countries, as well as in the United States.