David Knoble, CPA, PLLC

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These links will help you nav­i­gate to other web resources for your orga­ni­za­tion, busi­ness or family.

Watch for Scam Emails that look like the IRS

Always be care­ful open­ing email from sources you do not know.  Now you have to be care­ful watch­ing for email from the IRS.  With very few excep­tions, the IRS does not send email to indi­vid­u­als and busi­nesses.  Here is how to tell if your email is fraud­u­lent or a scam.

If some­one wants to imper­son­ate a bank or the IRS, they have to direct you to their web­site.  Fur­ther­more, they have to send you directly there.  To accom­plish this scam, they will give you a hyper­link in your email and tell you to click on it.

To tell if the link is fraud­u­lent, hold your mouse over the link, but do not click on it.  Alter­na­tively, if your email comes in text mode, you can see the link.  In either case, look at the web­site for the link.  The very end of the link will have either a ‘.com’, ‘.net’ or some other end­ing.  The word just prior to that last ‘dot’ is the domain for the link.  If that domain is not ‘IRS’ and the end­ing is not ‘.gov’ then the link will not take you to the IRS, but some fraud­u­lent web site.  See an exam­ple below of a fraud­u­lent web address:


This web site looks like it might be the IRS, but the end of the link indi­cates it will go to the web­site ‘fraud​u​lentsite​.com’  which is clearly not the IRS.  See an exam­ple of the cor­rect web­site below:


Notice how that web­site ends in ‘irs​.gov’. That link rep­re­sents the real IRS.  Also notice that some links have a sub­di­rec­tory asso­ci­ated with the link.  See the exam­ple below of a fraud­u­lent link with a directory:


The link above still takes you to the webiste ‘fraud​u​lentsite​.com’

For our last exam­ple, see a valid link to an IRS web­site with a sub­di­rec­tory (note this is not a real link, but an example).


So, at the end of the day, if you don’t really know who the email is from, even if it looks like it could be real, do not respond!

© 2010, david.knoble
by David Kno­ble, CPA, PLLC
Serv­ing Non-Profits, Busi­nesses & Indi­vid­u­als
Rock Hill, SC

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