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Scary Phishing for Non US Authors

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I almost gave a spammer my bank info today.  I got an email with an IRS heading which said I needed to fill out and fax back a form in order to avoid withholding tax.  This is so pertinent to my situation that I think they must be targeting authors.  Since I have a US publisher but live outside the US I do have to be careful to file properly to avoid a 30% withholding tax, something I've discussed with my accountant. 

Alarm bells went off because it came from a yahoo address and asked for specific bank info I don't think the IRS would need. I then went to the IRS website which says "The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail."  I think these spammers must be trolling new book announcements or something.  I never would have fallen for this even for a second if it didn't pertain to me so specifically.

Anyway, watch out.  The email begins:

Our records indicate that you are a Non-resident. As a result you are exempted from United States of America Tax reporting and withholdings on interest paid to you on your account and other financial benefits. To protect your exemption from tax on your account and other financial benefits, you need to recertify your exemption status and enable us confirm your records with us.
#1 - November 22, 2010, 01:59 PM
Lena Coakley
Exquisite storytelling plus atmospheric worldbuilding equals one stunning teen debut. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


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