Beware the bogus economic-stimulus e-mail

New phishing e-mails appear to be payout offers related to an economic-stimulus package. In reality, they're looking to steal sensitive information from recipients.

Online scammers, always quick to exploit the latest news event, are sending out e-mails promising economic-stimulus package payments but that instead steal sensitive data, the US-CERT warned on Friday.

The e-mails are disguised to look like official Internal Revenue Service communications. They offer a link to a Web site that asks for personal information or include a form that needs to be filled out and returned, the security organization said in an alert.

People who receive the fraudulent e-mail messages are encouraged to send the e-mail message and the Web site URL to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

CERT advises people against following unsolicited Web links in e-mails and offers more tips on its Web site.

The U.S. Senate was debating President Obama's $920 million economic-stimulus plan on Friday after the House of Representatives had approved a version.

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About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.

 

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