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Family Office | High Net Worth Individuals

Telltale Signs That Something is Phishy

Saul Brenner, CPA, J.D., LL.M. 03.19.2015 | eVisor

With the tax season in full swing, phishing emails may be even more prevalent. Scammers attempt to acquire your information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by masquerading as a trusted source in an email or other electronic communication.  As a reminder, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, texting, or any other social media. Try as they might, phishing scammers almost always leave clues that indicate the email is not what it seems. Here are some common mistakes:  

  • The email is addressed to you, but sent to many people.  Check the 'To:' and 'cc:' fields.
  • The introduction is too informal or odd. (e. g., Hello + your last name!)
  • You find poor/extra spacing and formatting.
  • The company name or bank may be familiar, but you do not do business with it.
  • You can identify spelling errors, bad punctuation, and mistakes in grammar.
  • The web address (URL) is fake.  Most web browsers will allow you to hover your mouse on the link to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message. Be careful not to click on the URL.   The IRS suggests that you forward scam emails to it at  

Questions? Contact your Berdon advisor or Saul Brenner at 212.331.7630 |

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