Tax (fraud) season is here

Tax season is prime time for online scams. With the filing deadline just two months away, cyber criminals are hard at work now trying to steal people’s tax refunds, bank accounts and identities.

Last year, the IRS estimates it paid $5.8 billion in bogus refunds. The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it tracked a nearly 50 percent increase in identity theft complaints in 2015, and by far the biggest contributor to that spike was tax refund fraud.

This year there’s a new attack in the form of an email campaign that delivers malware if you download a booby-trapped Word document. The subject line tends to be something like “URGENT 2015 Tax Return PIN.” Don’t open the document, or you will infect your computer.

Whether or not you’ve already filed your taxes this season, you can still be vulnerable to tax-related scams. Many schemes claim to have information about your refund or note a problem with your return.

Here are some of the most common email scams to watch out for:

How to avoid becoming a tax-scam victim

Remember:

Questions?

Contact the IT Security Officer if you have a security-related question or suggestion or want to comment on this article.

Published Feb 23, 2016

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