Identity thieves “phish” online for personal information. Their latest scam is to send e-mail messages that appear to come from government agencies and suggest you are owed an income tax refund or are under investigation. Don’t take the bait.
The cons want you to click on a link and provide personal information, such as your Social Security number or a bank account login. Criminal gangs in the United States and overseas reportedly use the information to steal money from consumers or to sell their identities in what experts describe as a sophisticated underground economy. Some scoundrels include an attachment that will unleash malicious spyware onto your computer.