DOT warns of suspicious mail

Staff report

The Ohio Department of Taxation is advising citizens to be alert to suspicious email communications that appear to be from the department.

The DOT will not:

• Send emails with links directing you to download and install software.

• Request detailed personal information through email.

• Send email requesting you to respond by providing your user ID, password, or financial information such as details of accounts or credit cards.

If you receive a suspicious email from someone claiming to represent the Ohio Department of Taxation, take these steps to protect yourself:

• Do not reply.

• Do not open any attachments, as they could infect your computer.

• Do not click on any links. If you have clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website ( and review the commission’s information on identity theft.

• Forward the suspicious email to [email protected] for investigation, then be sure to delete the email.

How to spot a malicious email:

• Look for email addresses with domain names that do not appear to be associated with the organization the email is supposed to be from.

Example: Official Department of Taxation communications will not be issued from a public domain email account such as [email protected] or [email protected]

• Look for links in the email that do not match the Web address that you intend to visit.

Example: If you hover your mouse cursor over a link in an email, the Web address (or URL) that is displayed should match the link referenced in the email message.

• Beware of emails that threaten loss of service if you do not respond by a certain date.

Example: “Your account will not be valid after June 1 if you do not follow the instructions in this email.”

• Beware of emails that ask you to supply confidential information

Example: Account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.

• Beware of emails that ask you to install software by clicking on a link the email message.

Staff report