Hackers Plan to Cash in During Last Minute Rush of Tax Filing Season

While many of us may be thinking of ways to spend our tax returns, hackers are busing thinking of ways to steal our money. The possibilities are endless:

  • Identity theft – Someone else filing your return using your social security number.
  • Fake web sites – These sites are designed to lure victims in and tricking them into giving up sensitive information.
  • Fake software – Over the last few years, there has been a rise in fake software that simply does not work or further infects your computer.
  • Phishing and fake emails from the IRS – Fake emails supposedly from the IRS (which are not) that seek to have you open an attachment or install a program. An example of such an email is shown below:

Fake IRS Email

This phishing technique has become even easier as hackers can now download prepacked phishing kits that allow them to do everything needed to setup a scam. These Do-it-Yourself (DIY) phishing kits can be found on many hacker sites.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • If you suspect fraud with your social security number, you can call at (800) 772-1213.
  • Avoid suspicious emails as the IRS does not directly send notices of tax refunds.
  • If you have opened such emails or attachments, run a current version of anti-virus against your computer or at least, run the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool; it is free and available at: http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.aspx
  • Purchase only name brand tax filing software
  • For any tax filing you do online, make sure that the URL begins with https (for example, https://www.irs.gov/) and check to see is a tiny padlock appears at the bottom right of the screen.
This entry was posted in IT and Computer Security and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.