Federal agencies increasingly have been the subject of phish scams this summer, and there seems to be no end to it. Below is an email I received late last night in my Outlook inbox. The email successfully eluded the spam filter.
The IRS confirms that the email is a fraud, making it part of the 161 phishing scams that the IRS has identified this year, an IRS spokeswoman says. The IRS has received 14,000 emails from individuals who have forwarded on suspicious looking emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, a mailbox the IRS set up last year for individuals to send emails that look like they may be scams.
IRS has issued a number of warnings in the past 18 months warning individuals about fraudulent emails coming form the IRS.
Phishers are also using the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to launch attacks designed to trick individuals to give up personal information or to download malware. The agencies report that emails look quite sophisticated. However, this email doesn't look professional enough to come from the IRS, although I would hazard to guess that many individuals would be fooled by the official IRS logo and the screened copyright statement at the bottom.
But I'm not too convinced that the IRS would use phrases such as "the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity," and the pedestrian Courier font gives the email more than a hint of illegitimacy.
Again, sadly, it must be working.