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The Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team is warning Internet users to be on guard against a convincing e-mail virus scam disguised as a message from auditors at the Internal Revenue Service.

An alert issued Monday (September 28, 2009) by the U.S.-CERT states: "The attacks arrive via an unsolicited email message and may contain a subject line of 'Notice of Underreported Income.' These messages may contain a link or attachment. If users click on this link or open the attachment, they may be infected with malicious code, including the Zeus Trojan."

The Zeus Trojan is exceptionally good at stealing sensitive data, and it is especially interested in online banking credentials.

Do not click on attachments included in unsolicited e-mails, especially those that encourage you to act quickly or else suffer some scary fate: These are almost universally scams or attempts to plant malicious software on your computer. Also, note that the IRS has stated emphatically that it does not communicate with citizens via e-mail.