How to Avoid Phishing Scams this Tax Season

Posted by Jen McNeill on March 23, 2016 at 8:32 AM
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It’s that time of year again. Lots of forms to fill out and lots of opportunities to accidentally share your personal
PhishingComputer.pnginformation.

It’s important to be on the lookout for IRS impersonation schemes and tax professional impersonation schemes. These scams are quite dangerous during tax season, and can be found in places such as websites, emails, tweets, banners, ads, etc.

Here are a few examples of what tax scams may look like:

"Hi! This is Rob from your local H&R Block. Thank you for using our services this season. Upon checking your file, I see you are actually eligible for an extra $200 rebate. I can get this done for you today if you just send me a quick note with your social security number and checking account/routing number."

"10 Secret Tax Right Offs That You Didn’t Know You Were Eligible For! Click HERE to learn more!!"

If you fall for these scams, here is what you are "handing over" to attackers:

  • Access to your credit card accounts
  • Access to your banking information
  • The ability to apply for loans in your name
  • Your entire credit history

What Should You Do to AVOID Tax Scams?

  • Delete all suspicious emails
  • Do not open links or open attachments if you think something is "phishy"
  • Do not share personal and/or confidential information via email

Here are a few red flags to watch out for:

  • The "From" name doesn't match the sending email address: H&R Block <Rob@HNRBlock.com>.
  • There are threats, dire warnings, and time constraints: "Your taxes will not be filed if you do not click the link below in the next 48 hours."
  • The sender's email address does not match the domain or organization the email purports to be from: H&R Block<Chad_Ryan@yahoo.com>
  • Too good to be true offers - Do you really think that you miraculously qualify for a $60,000 tax rebate?
Essential Guide to Online Security

Topics: phishing, security awareness, online security safety, social engineering

Jen McNeill

Written by Jen McNeill

Jen is an expert in marketing communications and security awareness training program development. She is the company’s most senior Customer Care Manager with more than 5 years experience working with enterprise clients in this very field. She is responsible for program optimization and works closely with our customers to establish and meet training goals. She is also available to help you make the necessary program changes to meet evolving objectives.