My brother received an email yesterday purporting to be from the IRS. We had quite a chuckle looking over the awkward syntax and bad grammar. It was clearly a phishing attempt, trying to get personal information from the unwary. Here is the text of the email (with my comments in parentheses):

This is in reference to your 2010 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return we seem ("seem"? The IRS does not "seem.") to have some discrepancies with your filing. If you have already filed for your 2010 tax refund please get hold ("Get hold" is pretty funny - another phrase that you'll never hear the IRS use.) of a new form 1040 and mail it to the Department of the Treasury in your region. (Mail? No. To the Treasury? No. The IRS wants you to efile to them, not mail to the Treasury. "Region" is another word I have never seen the IRS use. This came out of Russia or Asia, most likely.)

If for any reason you have not yet filed for your 2010 Individual Income Tax Return please print out the attached PDF form, fill it and fax it to the IRS data center on (866) 513-7982 within 24 hours. (Fax - another no - the IRS does not want you to fax anything.)

This has no bearing on your 2010 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, this to update (Nice grammar, that.) our data and survey while we prepare to close the 2010 tax filing season.

Thank you

Not to mention that the IRS does not have your email address: if you efile through a preparer, the IRS gets the preparer's address but not yours. Be watchful whenever anyone asks for your PIN for any purpose - it's usually a scam. This one is.


(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).