March 2011 IRS Email Scam Alert

Fraudulent emails, purporting to be from the IRS, are showing up in the email boxes of both companies and individuals around the country.

In one example, the subject line in the email reads: Your Federal Tax Payment Notice sn######## (where # represents a number). The message indicates that your electronically filed tax return was rejected and asks you to correct the error. You are then advised to open the attachment, which is a ZIP file that actually contains a variant of the Zeus Trojan that the fraudsters will use to steal your information and money.

It is important to note that the IRS does not discuss tax account matters with taxpayers by email.

What should you do if you receive a suspicious email purporting to be from the IRS?

  • Do not open any attachments or click on any links in the email.
  • Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to ask them if they are trying to contact you.
  • Forward the email to the IRS at before deleting it.

Tips to help protect you:

Education is your best defense - know what to look for and what to do. To find out more about how to protect yourself from fraud, visit the Fifth Third Bank Privacy & Security Center at

In order to protect yourself from malicious software (malware) on your computer, maintain and run anti-virus, firewall, and browser software on your computer. Also, make sure your operating system and application software (such as iTunes, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, etc.) are up to date, and review your Internet and email software's security settings.

If you need assistance or discover any suspicious online sites, emails, or other fraudulent activity involving your account, please call a Fifth Third Customer Service Professional at 1-800-676-5869. They are available to serve you Monday through Friday 8 AM–9 PM ET and Saturday through Sunday 8AM–5 PM ET. You may also contact us securely via our website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.