There is no end to the variations on the scams thieves will run.  And that is particularly true around tax time.  I’ve written several articles about the scams that try to impersonate the IRS.  Most recently, I wrote about the ways consumers can protect themselves in my blog titled “Taxpayer Tips for Protecting Your Identity: IRS Resources” (January 23, 2013).

So here’s the latest scam — timed to hit when many people have already filed, or will be filing, taxes.  As described by Kelly Phillips Erb in her article titled “Don’t Fall For Refund Related Email Phishing Scams” (www.forbes.com; April 9), this scam comes looking as if it’s an email from the IRS.  The email claims that the receiver is going to get a refund and only has to open an e-Refund account to have the funds credited directly to the recipient’s designated bank account.

And how should that e-Refund account be opened?  Just by  clicking on the “Get Started” link in the email.  As I’ve said in prior blogs — the IRS doesn’t send emails about refunds, or problems with tax returns.  So don’t click on the link!  Ms. Erb’s article has a graphic of the scam email if you want to familiarize yourself with how the scam email looks.

The only people who’ll benefit from recipients clicking open the link are the scammers.  They’ll either get personal and financial information that they can use for identity theft; or the link installs malware or spyware that will do the same.