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IRS warns taxpayers about latest phishing scams

14 March 2012

As tax season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning taxpayers about phishing scams designed to trick them into revealing sensitive personal information.

The last warning involves a phishing scam in which a bogus email informs recipients that they will be penalized up to $10,000 for failing to file their tax return on time. The scam references a fake deadline and Section 6038 and can include the subject line, "Penalty for not filing tax return on time."

“The email directs taxpayers to a phony web site that appears to be the official IRS site. Taxpayers who click on the email link are taken to a phony site and asked to provide personal or financial information that can be used by scammers and identity thieves. The alleged penalty and the deadline are both fictitious”, the IRS said in an announcement.

To avoid IRS phishing scams, anti-phishing firm Wombat Security Technologies offers a number of tips: recognize that the IRS does not communicate via email or social media, avoid offers that assist you in filing for a refund, do not follow links to web sites that offer to help you file your taxes electronically, and relay any suspicious emails to the IRS phishing mailbox.

“Cyber criminals use the emotional response that people have when they see anything from the IRS to take advantage of them in a weak moment and to collect information computer users shouldn’t be sharing”, the company warned.
 

This article is featured in:
Data Loss  •  Internet and Network Security  •  Public Sector

 

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