February 27, 2007
Rep. Markey Wants Action Against Phony IRS Web Sites
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, sent a letter yesterday to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Trade Commission Chair Deborah Majoras, and IRS Commissioner Mark Everson requesting that they take action to prevent taxpayers from being misled into disclosing important data to phony IRS web sites such as www.irs.com, www.irs.net, and www.irs.org:
I am concerned these sites may be confusing to consumers, who may believe them to be an official IRS Website. I am concerned that consumers who visit these sites may provide the operators with personally identifiable information and tax return information, enabling the operators to either market or sell this information to others, or to sell and market all manner of products and services to these taxpayers. Since the taxpayers who provide personal information to these sites may do so under the misimpression that they were dealing with an official government website subject to applicable federal privacy protections, there is a serious potential for consumer confusion, deception, and abuse....
Please describe any actions you are taking to intervene and put an immediate stop to this threat to the public interest, now, in the current tax season, before any other taxpayers are victimized
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