Tourism stakeholders are warned to be on the lookout for fake faxes or emails from the IRS.
Criminals are waging a nasty online campaign right now, hoping that their victims' fears of the US tax collecter will lead them to inadvertently install malicious software on their computers AND/OR submit confidential banking information.
The fake IRS scam has been targeting nonresident aliens working in the U.S., as well as American citizens working abroad. In the scam, the target receives a faxed request from the IRS to provide his name, SSN, and pretty much every other bit of data you'd need to take over a person's financial identity.
Several Belizean businesses have received these in recent weeks and over this past weekend.
The faxes are in two pages and may start as follows:
A cover letter with letterhead, "Internal Revenue Service IRS.gov".
Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America reporting and withholdings, on interest paid on your account and other financial dealing to protect your exemption from tax on your account and other financial benefit in rectifying your exemption status.
Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing form W-8BEN , and return to us as soon as possible through the fax number: 1-347-584-2967." Click here to see a copy of the whole fax cover and form received.
2. An actual form requesting that you complete and fax back ALL THE RELEVANT PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION AND BANKING INFORMATION REQUIRED TO HAVE YOUR IDENTITY STOLEN!
In the email version of the scam, The messages typically have a subject line that reads, "Notice of Underreported Income," and they encourage victims to either install the Trojan attachment or click on a Web link in order to view their "tax statement." In fact, that link takes the victim to a malicious Web site.
The IRS says not to open attachments or click on links included in e-mail that claims to come from the tax-collection agency.
PCWorld claims that the email version of the IRS SCAM is now the biggest email Virus problem.
Please check the link below for the IRS's position on these SCAMS:
Tourism stakeholders are reminded to be extremely cautious about clicking on attachments from unknown and unexpected sources, OR, releasing personal details and banking information.