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Security Protection - Harry Waldron (CS)

Security Best Practices, Breaking News, & Updates

IRS and Tax based Scams - New Wave of Attacks

As we are entering into a new tax reporting season, scammers are already trying to take advantage of individuals   Folks should be careful of all email messages as they appear to be authentic, but the IRS never contacts folks in that manner. 
 
Also, phone scammers are asking for SSN and other privacy information, that IRS should already have on file anyway. If folks share sensitive information, it can be used by identity thieves to impersonate the victim and obtain money.  Always check any request for information with the source when in doubt. 
 
Tis the Season for Tax Return Scams
http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=3898
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_8108493

QUOTE: A new wave of "phishing" e-mails making the rounds, claiming to be from the IRS, may be the work of scammers trying to capitalize on an economic stimulus package under consideration by Congress, an IRS spokesman said Monday.

"The IRS never sends unsolicited initial e-mails," IRS spokesman Bill Steiner said. Nor does it ever ask for detailed personal and financial information, personal identification numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts, the men said.

Phone scammers are also manipulating individuals
http://www.kmbc.com/news/15152423/detail.html

QUOTE: Scammers, pretending to be IRS agents, are calling unsuspecting people, asking for Social Security numbers and other personal information so a refund check can be sent.

IRS Warning and Recommendations
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=170894,00.html

QUOTE: A new variation of the refund scheme may be directed toward organizations that distribute funds to other organizations or individuals. In an attempt to seem legitimate, the scam e-mail claims to be sent by, and contains the name and supposed signature of, the Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations area of the IRS. The e-mail asks recipients to click on a link to access a form for a tax refund. In reality, taxpayers claim their tax refunds through the filing of an annual tax return, not a separate application form.

RECOMMENDATION: These e-mail messages can be forwarded to: phishing@irs.gov
 
EXAMPLE OF TAX BASED PHISHING ATTACK :
 
=========================================
Tax Notification
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


United States Department of the Treasury
Date:  01/28/2008
 
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal
activity we have determined that you are eligible
to receive a tax refund of $134.80.

 
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us
6-9 days in order to process it.

 
A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons.
For example submitting invalid records or applying
after the deadline.

 
To access the form for your tax refund, click here
(MALICIOUS WEBSITE LINK).


Regards,

Internal Revenue Service
Document Reference: (92054568).

=========================================

Comments

Harry Waldron - Microsoft MVP Blog said:

As noted in this post , scammers are attempting to trick individuals during the tax season to reveal

# January 31, 2008 9:49 AM

Harry Waldron - My IT Forums Blog said:

E] As noted in this post , scammers are attempting to trick individuals during the tax season to reveal

# January 31, 2008 9:51 AM