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Thursday, May 31, 2007
IRS warns of scam e-mail attack
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Internal Revenue Service is warning businesses across the country of two new and potentially devastating e-mail scams which could silently take over their computer hard drives.

The e-mails contain official-looking IRS logos and information, falsely notifying the reader of IRS action against them or their company. A link for further information is actually a hot button that would secretly launch an insidious computer program. That program, known as a Trojan horse, could cause a variety of paralyzing problems as it directly accesses the hard drive.

One e-mail purports to come from the IRS Criminal Investigation, telling the reader they are under tax investigation in connection with the California Tax Franchise Board. The other e-mail falsely notifies the reader that a complaint has been lodged against them.

The agency issued the warning Thursday. A spokeswoman said the scams started hitting IRS radar one day earlier. Officials urge that anyone receiving such an e-mail leave it unopened and especially stay away from any hyperlinks contained in the message.

-- CNN Radio's Lisa Goddard
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