75-year old Glenn Jewell gets a lot of messages in his e-mail inbox, but one in particular caught his eye. The e-mail is a tax scam that's circulating the area. A lot of people at News 8 actually got a similar e-mail this week. The e-mail claims to be from the IRS. It tells people they're eligible for a refund. All you have to do is provide your social security number and credit card pin.
But Glenn knew better, "Right away. I knew it was fraud right away."
Glenn's wife Lois says it would have fooled her. And it's no wonder. The e-mail looks legit. It even uses the official IRS logo. Tim Shanahan is a special agent for the IRS Rochester office. He says there's different ways to tell it's a scam. "The IRS does not contact people by e-mail initially they'll either be contacted by person, by letter or over the phone," said Shanahan.
If people click on the link and fill out the form there may be trouble ahead.
"They'll steal your identity and then they can run up the charges. Open up credit card loans and all these types of things," said Shanahan.
Glenn hopes by sharing his story, other people don't fall for the scam. "I was upset because someone's going to fall for it. Older people don't know. They think $130 I could use this."
If you get this e-mail, the IRS wants you to forward it to them. They ask you paste the scam into the body of the e-mail and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It may help catch the scammers.
If you have any questions about your federal taxes or feel a scammer is targeting you, call the IRS’s toll free tax assistance hotline at 1-800-829-1040.
You can also log onto www.irs.gov.