The subject line alone was enough to unmask this criminal mastermind: "This message it is confidential."
This message it is really not from the IRS.
We've all seen cruder and more laughable specimens, but this one caught my eye because it showed up minutes after a call from my wife informing me that our refund check had arrived. That the real tax man would be sending a confirmation e-mail was conceivable for the split second it took me to hop from the phony sender address -- email@example.com -- to the stilted "This message it is ..."
Inside, however, we find only the inconceivable.
This is Francis V. from the Refund Operations Department at Internal Revenue Service (United States Department of the Treasury).
After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $184.23.
Bu ... bu ... but, Fran, my man, our accountant -- a fella we trust -- had calculated our refund at an amount with another digit attached. How could he have gone so far wrong? And, as noted, we've already gotten the loot.
No matter, Francis V. is on a roll.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3-9 days in order to process it.
A refund can be delayed for a variety of reason. For exemple (invalid records or applying after the deadline). The good news is that Internal Revenue Service will make this refund directly to your visa and/or mastercard linked to your checking/savings account instead a check or a direct deposit.
Francis is from the government and he's here to help, at least as long as you're able to follow his set of simple instructions.
To access the form for your tax refund, please download our secure server form at the attachment file below this letter.
Important: Do not use credit and/or american express or discover cards. Only cards that are linked to your checking/savings account are accepted.
Experts insist that people fall for this stuff and I'm sure that's true in general. Francis V., however, needs to polish his skills or find another line of crime ... and he's been at this since at least 2007. Yet he is nothing if not polite:
Internal Revenue Service - Tax Refund Specialist
NOTE: After all steps are complete, please delete the form & letter from your computer & email.
You can never be too careful, after all, or in the final words from Francis V.: "This details are very confidential!"
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