Beware ALL E-mails Claiming to be from the IRS

Many of my clients, coworkers, and friends are receiving e-mails claiming to be from the IRS. The subject line usually reads "Regarding Underreported Income." I've been receiving dozens of these messages myself, and I warn everyone I can about the danger of these phishing scams. The IRS does not directly send messages to everyone. In fact, here's information directly from the IRS's official website:

The IRS does not initiate taxpayer contact via unsolicited e-mail or ask for personal identifying or financial information via e-mail. If you receive a suspicious e-mail claiming to come from the IRS, take the following steps:

• Do not open any attachments to the e-mail, in case they contain malicious code that will infect your computer.

• Do not click on any links, for the same reason. Also, be aware that the links often connect to a phony IRS Web site that appears authentic and then prompts the victim for personal identifiers, bank or credit card account numbers or PINs. The phony Web sites appear legitimate because the appearance and much of the content are directly copied from an actual page on the IRS Web site and then modified by the scammers for their own purposes.

• Contact the IRS at 1.800.829.1040 to determine whether the IRS is trying to contact you.

• Forward the suspicious e-mail or url address to the IRS mailbox, then delete the e-mail from your inbox.

: Don't trust any e-mail you receive that's from "The IRS"- the IRS will not send unsolicited E-mail messages.