By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — With the income tax filing deadline about five weeks away, suburban police departments are warning residents about an increase in attempted e-mail “phishing” attacks tied to the tax filing deadlines.

Police say you may start to see e-mails in your inbox that look like they come from the Internal Revenue Service, trying to lure people to click on links or an attachment in the body of the message.

IRS spokesman David Stewart says these scammers typically prey on low-income residents or the elderly.  And he says if you click on the link, it might send a “worm” into your computer looking for personal information.

“What they’re looking for is your bank account number, credit card account number, your secret passwords,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “and that’s the kind of information that really opens the Pandora’s box to your financials.”

Stewart says if the IRS needs to reach you about a tax return, they will do it either by phone or through the mail — not with an e-mail.

If you get one of these suspicious e-mails, he adds, send it to and let them take care of it.

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