E-mail alert issued to taxpayers

Published 11:30 pm Monday, February 2, 2009


While the state of Alabama has never had a reported incidence of fraudulent e-mails going to state taxpayers, the Alabama Department of Revenue has issued an e-mail scam warning to alert taxpayers of the potential hazard.

“We have not been aware of one going to state taxpayers,” ADOR spokeswoman Carla Snellgrove said. “We are just trying to raise awareness and let taxpayers know that they should not give out any personal information.”

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“The IRS has sent out a series of e-mails over the past few years warning taxpayers of the same potential issues,” Snellgrove said.

This year, ADOR issued its own e-mail scam warning, alerting taxpayers of a potential e-mail scam in which state taxpayers are reportedly advised by ADOR that they are due a state tax refund.

According to Snellgrove, ADOR never initiates communication with taxpayers via e-mail.

If ADOR has questions for taxpayers a letter will be sent through the mail, Snellgrove said.

Still, if taxpayers have questions for ADOR, the department does receive e-mails from taxpayers with questions, but taxpayers will never receive unsolicited e-mail from ADOR asking for personal information.

According to Snellgrove, if a taxpayer does receive a suspicious e-mail asking for bank account information or other personal information, the taxpayer should not reply.

E-mail messages that look suspicious should not be opened nor should any links associated with the e-mail.

Links or attachments from the suspicious e-mail could contain malicious codes or viruses that could infect the taxpayer’s computer.

“Taxpayers should always use extreme caution when they receive unsolicited e-mails, from any source, especially those seeking any type of personal or financial information,” State Revenue Commissioner Tim Russell said.