Government Scams: IRS Tax Refund Scams - John Stewart, "US Internal Revenue Service Notice"

Fake Government Agencies
IRS Scams - Fake Refund Email from the Internal Revenue Service
John Stewart, "US Internal Revenue Service Notice"

Have you received an email from the IRS, telling you that "After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax "; then  instructing you to "access the form for your tax refund, click here"?

It is a scam.  The IRS will never, never email you unless you first contact them.  They WILL NOT EVER email you to tell you you owe money or are due to receive a refund; or for any other reason. Count on it.

If you hold your mouse over the link to IRS.gov/refunds, you would see that it does NOT go to the IRS, but instead to a page on a scam website which is clearly operating a fraud. We neutered the link in case it harbors a virus. The link went to http://www.aol.com/redir.adp?_url=http://mail.brunn-flynn.com/index.html>

Note the gross misspellings and poor syntax in the example below.


Sample Scam FBI Email:

March 20, 2008, CFR received the following email:

Version 1 (html):

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity
we have determined that you are eligible to receive
a tax refund under section 501(c) (3) of the
Internal Revenue Code. Tax refund value is $189.60.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days
in order to IWP the data received.
If u don't receive your refund within 9 business
days from the original IRS mailing date shown,
you can start a refund trace online.

If you distribute funds to other organization, your records must show wether
they are exempt under section 497 (c) (15). In cases where the recipient org.
is not exempt under section 497 (c) (15), you must have evidence the funds will
be used for section 497 (c) (15) purposes.

If you distribute fund to individuals, you should keep case histories showing
the recipient's name and address; the purpose of the award; the maner of
section; and the realtionship of the recipient to any of your officers, directors,
trustees, members, or major contributors.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here


This notification has been sent by the Internal Revenue Service,
a bureau of the Department of the Treasury.

Sincerely Yours,
John Stewart
John Stewart
Director, Exempt. Organization
Rulings and Agreements Letter
Internal Revenue Service

Version 2 (text):

From: "Department of the Treasury" <refund@usa.gov
Subject: US Internal Revenue Service Notice
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 09:07:55 -0400

To: 

    After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax refund value is $189.60.

Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to IWP the data received.

If u don't receive your refund within 9 business days from the original IRS mailing date shown, you can start a refund trace online.

If you distribute funds to other organization, your records must show wether they are exempt under section 497 (c) (15). In cases where the recipient org. is not exempt under section 497 (c) (15), you must have evidence the funds will be used for section 497 (c) (15) purposes.

If you distribute fund to individuals, you should keep case histories showing the recipient's name and address; the purpose of the award; the maner of section; and the realtionship of the recipient to any of your officers, directors, trustees, members, or major contributors.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here

This notification has been sent by the Internal Revenue Service, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury.

Sincerely Yours,

John Stewart

Director, Exempt. Organization

Rulings and Agreements Letter

Internal Revenue Service


Review:

The link in the email ( http://www.aol.com/redir.adp?_url=http://mail.brunn-flynn.com/index.html) uses an automatic redirect page at AOL to send the victim to this url, (http://mail.brunn-flynn.com/index.html) which is/was a subdomain on http://brunn-flynn.com/. That domain (http://brunn-flynn.com/), had an a "Under Construction" page instead of a home page on March 20, 2008, which may indicate the website had been hacked (and the owner is an innocent victim) or the owner was part of it.  We can't tell.

According to Register.com's Whois, that domain was privately registered at:


Registrant:
Droids, Ltd.
Jason Roysdon
1100 J St.
Modesto, CA 95354
US
Email: jroysdon@hotmail.com

Registrar Name....: REGISTER.COM, INC.
Registrar Whois...: whois.register.com
Registrar Homepage: www.register.com

Domain Name: brunn-flynn.com

Created on..............: Mon, Jul 02, 2001
Expires on..............: Mon, Jul 02, 2012
Record last updated on..: Tue, Apr 17, 2007

Administrative Contact:
Brunn & Flynn
Diane Porter
POBOX 3366
Modesto, CA 95353
US
Phone: +1.2095212133
Email: dporter@brunn-flynn.com

Technical Contact:
NetsWork, Inc.
Jason Roysdon
2925 Niagra St
Turlock, CA 95382
US
Phone: 800-884-6346
Email: dns-mat@netsworkinc.com

DNS Servers:

ns2.pbi.net
ns1.pbi.net

Clearly, this email is criminal activity intended to steal your money!


Recommendations:

If you receive a call from this number or any group that claims to represent a government agency, take down their information, including the contact's name, phone number, etc. Do NOT give them any personal or financial information, especially not a credit card, checking or bank account number, passport number, etc.

Next, look up the direct phone or email address for the agency they claim to represent and call them.  Read them the email and ask if it could have come from their agency.

While we don't want to encourage people to ignore correspondence from legal government agencies, it is a safe bet that NO U.S. government agency will make any first contact with you by email. Certainly not the FBI or IRS.

The IRS offers this advice:

If you receive an unsolicited e-mail purporting to be from the IRS, take the following steps:

  • Do not open any attachments to the e-mail, in case they contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
  • Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine whether the IRS is trying to contact you about a tax refund.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!


How to Report a Tax Refund Scam Email:

If you receive a suspicious e-mail that claims to come from the IRS,

  1. Forward it to the IRS (phishing@irs.gov and
  2. Send a copy to ConsumerFraudReporting.org (via the feedback form)
  3. Please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov and

Follow instructions in the link below for sending the bogus e-mail to ensure that it retains critical elements found in the original e-mail. The IRS can use the information, URLs and links in the suspicious e-mails you send to trace the hosting Web site and alert authorities to help shut down the fraudulent sites. Unfortunately, due to the expected volume, the IRS will not be able to acknowledge receipt or respond to you.

In the United States, you may also contact:

U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Room 942
Washington, DC 20223

Phone: (202) 4355850

Fax: (202) 4355031

Or contact the local U.S. Secret Service Field Office.

Frequently Asked Questions - 1.13 IRS Procedures: Reporting Fraud

How to Report Abusive Tax Promotions and/or Promoters:
Complete the referral form  which documents the information necessary to report an abusive tax avoidance scheme. The form can be mailed or faxed to the IRS address and fax number on the form.

How to Report Abusive CPAs, Attorneys or Enrolled Agents:
Report suspicious actions by tax professionals to the email address  of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.

 

Overseas

Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.

 


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