IT Security & Network Security News & Reviews: Fake IRS Scams to Dodge This Tax Season
With only days left for most Americans to file their taxes, security companies and the Internal Revenue Service are all warning users to beware of malware and online threats that masquerade as helpful tax tips. People should remain vigilant for tax-related scams because they won't decline after this year's April 18 tax-filing deadline. Ed Cohen, vice-president of corporate development at Sonic Wall, told eWEEK. "There's actually little correlation between the volume of attacks and April 15," Cohen said. The most popular time has historically been in May and June, when the scammers start flooding in-boxes with fake refund notifications to trick people into divulging their bank account information and credit card numbers. Cohen does not expect that to change this year. SonicWall has an online phishing quiz to help people learn to differentiate between legitimate emails from financial institutions and phishing attempts. Over 3 million people have taken the test thus far, and only 7.4 percent of the respondents answered all the questions correctly. In fact, people incorrectly identified emails 22 percent of the time, Cohen said. The quiz also revealed that one in 10 people would click on a phishing email even after being told it was suspicious. Below, eWEEK put together a list of tips on how to avoid getting stung by fake tax spam.
The IRS Will Not Email You
If you get an email from the IRS, its safe to delete it, because the IRS will never email requests for more information or to say that there was an error in the return. Ignore the fancy logos or the colors. The IRS will always use the United States Postal Service to contact taxpayers, Cohen said.