With the April 15 tax deadline looming, security experts are cautioning businesses to be on the lookout for new tax-related scams that can lead to loss of critical company data and identity theft, not to mention drain employee productivity.
Identity Force, a provider of identity theft tools, recently issued a Tax Season Fraud Alert, cautioning consumers and small and midsize businesses alike to prepare for a surge in e-mail and phone calls from con artists and overseas fraudsters who capitalize on the fact that people are intimidated by the Internal Revenue Service to steal corporate identities and drain bank accounts. In the past year, Identity Force said, the IRS has received notification of over 1,500 different scams and is currently investigating over 33,000 suspicious e-mails forwarded by people targeted by such fraudsters.
“People are more susceptible right now because of the sensitivity that surrounds tax season and the authority the IRS carries,” said Steve Bearak, CEO of Identity Force. “People are genuinely intimidated when someone calls and says they’re from the IRS, looking for tax or bank information. It’s amazing how many people will provide that kind of information out of fear.”