It's tax season, which means it's also time for tax scams, with numerous online scams that attempt to steal people's tax refunds, bank accounts, or identities. Last year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates it paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft refunds in filing season 2013. Websense Security Labs reported in 2014 it saw approximately 100,000 IRS-related scams in circulation every two weeks.
This year, we need to be especially careful in light of the Anthem Breach, in which data from approximately 80 million customers was exposed, triggering new phishing attacks offering false claims of credit monitoring services.
Users who have already filed their taxes this season can still be vulnerable to tax-related scams. Many schemes take advantage of users by alleging to have information about the filer's refund, or noting a problem with the return that was previously filed.
One scam that has already been impacting users this season involves phishing emails claiming to be from Intuit's TurboTax. The emails prompt users to click on links to verify their identity or update their accounts in an attempt to download malware to the victim's machine, or steal data such as Social Security numbers or financial information.
Below are some of the most common email scams users should be cautious about:
How To Avoid Becoming A Tax-Scam Victim
IRS 2015 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams: www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Completes-the-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-for-2015
What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen- FTC Guidebook: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0009-taking-charge.pdf
Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft: www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-IdentityTheft
Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts: www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts
Report Phishing: www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing
These tips are brought to you in the Commonwealth of Virginia by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency in coordination with: