Tax Season is Identity Theft Season

February 25, 2015 | By Kevin Judge

irs file page
The only thing cybercriminals like more than activities that expose social security numbers are ones that involve debit/credit card transactions. With millions of people filing their taxes online, which can involve both, it should be no surprise that the bad guys will be out in force as April 15th, tax day in the USA, approaches.

One scam, exposed by CBS 60 minutes last year, is the filing of fraudulent returns in order to get the tax refund. All the scammers need is the victim’s name, address and social security number and the crooks are set. You might think it was more complicated than that. After all, doesn’t the IRS check the wage withholding data before sending out the refund?

Surprisingly, no. Not for online filing and the government will deposit the money on the scammers debit card. The victim doesn’t know what happened until they file and the government tells them they already had.

The week the IRS sent a warning for tax preparest to watch out for a new email phishing scheme. It’s never smart to open emails from unknown or suspicious sources, but you should be prepared to see this particular scam in your email inbox. Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking

There are bogus emails making seeking updated personal or professional information that in reality are criminals attempts to rob your credentials and identity. “I urge taxpayers to be wary of clicking on strange emails and websites,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “They may be scams to steal your personal information.”

There are many similar scams to be aware of. In this case, the email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs). It is an attempt to trick you into revealing your username and password. The IRS says to disregard this email and do not click on the links provided.

Phishing scams usually encourage you to go to the criminal’s website that poses as from a reputable and well known organization. They capture information you enter such as your login credentials and account information. Before you know it, you are a victim of identity theft and financial fraud.

If you see such a scam related to the IRS and tax filing, you can reprot it at. phishing@irs.gov.

Comodo created SecureBox to protect businesses who’s customers and employees have to conduct financial transactions on endpoints that are at risk.

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