Thieves are trying to scare you out of your personal information.
An email says you are subject to a penalty of $5,000 for not filing an income tax return before January of 2013. It says you are exempt from the penalty if you can prove the late filing was based on "ample grounds." It then instructs you to click on a link.
The Better Business Bureau says, don’t be fooled.
“Their purpose is to commit a crime of some sort, like stealing your social security number,” Dream Jensen says. “That’s one thing they’ll always ask because the IRS always needs it. But they won’t say, ‘let us give you’re your social security number and you verify that it’s okay;” they’ll say ‘please let us have your social security number.’ They want you to email it back to them.”
There are several red flags with the email. It has several misspelled words, and instead of "Department of Treasury,” it says "Department of Treasure". Jensen says that could mean it’s of foreign origin.
If you receive this email, the BBB says to just delete it. If you at truly concerned you may owe the IRS, contact them by phone directly.