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Protect Yourself from and Report Suspicious Emails or Phishing Schemes

What are suspicious emails or phishing?

Phishing, as it is called, is the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

Report Phishing, email scams and bogus IRS Web sites.

According to the Federal Trade Commission , the nation’s consumer protection agency, phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you may deal with — for example, an Internet service provider, bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message may ask you to 'update', 'validate', or 'confirm' your account information.

Some phishing emails threaten a dire consequence if you don’t respond. The messages direct you to a website that looks just like a legitimate organization’s site — but it isn’t. It’s a bogus site whose sole purpose is to trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.

The IRS can use the information, URLs and links in the suspicious emails you forward to trace the hosting website and alert authorities to help shut down the fraudulent sites.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 24-Mar-2014