Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2008

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI Warns of Phishing Scam Related to Economic Stimulus Checks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation warns consumers of recently reported spam e-mail purportedly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which is actually an attempt to steal consumer information. The e-mail advises the recipient that direct deposit is the fastest and easiest way to receive their economic stimulus tax rebate. The message contains a hyperlink to a fraudulent form which requests the recipient's personally identifiable information, including bank account information. To convince consumers to reply, the e-mail warns that a failure to complete the form in a timely manner will delay the issuance of the rebate check.

One example of this IRS spam e-mail message is as follows:

"Over 130 million Americans will receive refunds as part of President Bush's program to jumpstart the economy.

Our records indicate that you are qualified to receive the 2008 Economic Stimulus Refund.

The fastest and easiest way to receive your refund is by direct deposit to your checking/savings account.

Please follow the link and fill out the form and submit before May 10th, 2008 to ensure that your refund will be processed as soon as possible.

Submitting your form on May 10th, 2008 or later means that your refund will be delayed due to the volume of requests we anticipate for the Economic Stimulus Refund.

To access Economic Stimulus refund, please click here."

"Various forms of online fraud continue to proliferate on the internet and people should take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves," said Special Agent Richard J. Kolko, FBI National Press Office.

Please be cautious of unsolicited e-mails. It is recommended not to open e-mails from unknown senders because they often contain viruses or other malicious software. It is also recommended to avoid clicking links in e-mails received from unknown senders as this is a popular method of directing victims to phishing websites.

If you have received an e-mail similar to this, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov. More information on scams is also available on www.fbi.gov and www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.