Bryan Cohen Apr. 18, 2013, 5:01pm

LINCOLN, Neb. (Legal Newsline) - Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning issued a consumer alert Wednesday related to scam artists pretending to be Internal Revenue Service tax agents.

Since Monday, Bruning's office received five reports from Nebraskans of unsolicited emails claiming to be from the IRS. The scam is nothing more than an attempt to collect personal information from the unsuspecting recipient of the message.

"The IRS does not initiate contact via email," Bruning said. "Unsolicited emails sent from those claiming to be IRS agents or affiliated with the IRS are not legitimate, are meant to gather personal data from the recipient and should be deleted immediately. Since Monday's April 15 tax deadline, we have received five reports of this scam targeting Nebraskans."

The fraudulent emails tell recipients they overpaid their taxes and will be able to receive additional tax refund money. The emails contain a link to a website and instructions on how to obtain the overpayment refund. The link sends recipients to a website where personal information is collected by the scammers.

Government agency information can always be verified on official websites that end in .gov.

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