If you're expecting a refund from the IRS this year, make sure you don't fall hook, line and sinker for a phishing scam that's targeting taxpayers. Phishing is the use of fraudulent e-mails that try to trick you into revealing personal information, such as account numbers and passwords, in the belief that the e-mail is coming from a legitimate source. Taxpayers who are eagerly awaiting their tax refunds may be more apt to respond to such e-mails in hopes that they can get their refund sooner. However, criminals behind the scams can then use any personal data acquired from these fraudulent e-mails to empty victims' financial accounts, run up charges on existing credit cards and apply for new loans, credit cards and other services or benefits.
Avoid becoming a victim of these scams by not responding to or clicking on any links within the body of a suspicious e-mail. Also know that the IRS does not send e-mails to taxpayers regarding their individual accounts or their refunds. The IRS may send out e-mails regarding news releases or informational articles geared for the general public, but under no circumstances does the IRS or Chaco Credit Union ask for an individual's Social Security number, Chaco account number or any other financial information via e-mail. It's also a good idea to bookmark www.irs.gov and www.chacocu.org so you know you're always on the right site.
If you receive a fraudulent e-mail that appears to be from the IRS asking you to verify or provide your account information, please forward the message to email@example.com. If you receive any other e-mails you believe to be fraudulent, please visit the Federal Trade Commission's Web site, www.ftc.gov, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.