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What is Phishing?

Definition: Phishing


The IRS defines phishing as "the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft." The IRS is often the legitimate enterprise that scammers behind phishing schemes are attempting to emulate. Phishers send emails claiming that you need to update or confirm your personal information with them — or else! It becomes obvious that these messages are bogus when you learn the important fact that the IRS never sends emails to taxpayers. If you receive any emails from an organization claiming to be the IRS, forward the message to phishing@irs.gov so they can keep track of suspicious activity.

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