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Sun, August 20, 2017 Twitter LinkedIn

Compliance Training Blog

Security is everyone's responsibility

Tips to Avoid Phishing Scams and Tax Refund Fraud

As the end of tax season draws near, the presence of aggressive tax fraud and phishing scams can be expected to pick up. Earlier this year the IRS released a warning to tax payers across the nation to beware of phishing scams from fraudulent companies posing as federal institutions. 


As people continue to received phone calls and emails from organizations posing as the IRS this tax season, the security of taxpayers continues to be put at risk. Never more in the history of security has the awareness of phishing scams been more paramount. 

 

IRS Aims to Protect Taxpayers from Fraud 

While the IRS is trying their best to help inpiduals and organizations avoid fraud and phishing scams this season, educating yourself and your workforce has never been more vital. These fraudulent activities not only put your hard-earned money at risk, they can also steal a taxpayer’s identity. 

Phishing scams are one of the most common and damaging kinds of fraud on the internet today. Taking a proactive approach as both an inpidual and an organization is vitally important to ensuring private information remains private and does not get in the hands of criminals and con artists.

When sensitive information is stolen by someone with a malicious intent, the consequences can be devastating both for an inpidual and an organization. Not only can it put you and your family at risk, it can also put an organization’s entire list of clients in danger. 

Common Tax Fraud Phishing Scams

During the tax season, it is important to be extremely vigilant when it comes to emails and websites related to tax information. These sites are built to steal from inpiduals and organizations by collecting sensitive information. 

Because these frauds represent themselves as federal institutions, people inadvertently hand over social security numbers, tax identification numbers, and even payments that they’ll never get back.

The IRS will never send an email about a tax bill or refund without notice so never click any links in these emails as these are likely trying to steal personal information from you. 

These scams work by sending unsolicited emails that direct tax fraud victims to fake websites. The goal of these malicious sites is to get someone to provide personal and financial information that puts them at risk for theft. 

Not only can a criminal equipped with your private information steal money from you, they can also steal your identity and destroy your credit. If you do come across a phishing scam email, please report it directly to the IRS at [email protected].

In general the IRS doesn’t use email to initiate contact with taxpayers especially to request financial or personal information. This general rule extends to other electronic forms of communication like text messages and social media as these can be sources of phishing too.

Phishing Scams Target Prepares and Not Just Inpiduals

The IRS has issued a warning to tax professionals to keep a watch out for bogus emails asking for updated information posing as a federal institution. In reality, these emails are likely phishing tax scams. 

These emails are reportedly asking tax preparers and professionals to update their Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) and IRS e-services portal information. Organizations that prepare taxes for inpiduals and businesses, must keep watch for these types of emails as they likely have malicious intent.

The scam seems to be designed to capture the tax professional’s username and password thus giving the tax frauds access to potentially hundreds of clients’ private information. In no way was this an official IRS email and you should most definitely not click any links in this email phishing scam. If you do, you put your and your clients’ privacy at risk.

Phishing Scams Beyond Tax Season

Unfortunately, criminals don’t stop trying to steal your information once tax season closes. New phishing scams are created all the time. Fortunately, with the proper training an inpidual as well as an entire organization can learn to identify a phishing scam before valuable data is lost.

Our Anti-Phishing Training & Exploit Testing teaches employees about the threat phishing scams pose to the company. In a scenario-based, online format that uses gamification to involve users in an interactive lesson, students walk away with the decision-making skills required to handle phishing threats and attacks.

Global Learning Systems also stages several simulated attacks in order to test the response of your employees and offer even more targeted training to employees in need. 

Learn more about our Anti-phishing Training and help protect your organization against the most damaging threat to your privacy and data today. 

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