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As Tax Day lingers, so do cyber attackers

April 2019 by Experts

The April 15 United States Tax Day is approaching and according to Turbo Tax from Intuit, 20-25 percent of Americans wait until the final two weeks to file their tax returns. All these procrastinators need to watch out for cyber criminals who are looking to steal Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns and pillage refunds.

IBM X-Force researchers recently discovered several ongoing attacks exploiting the filing/return season and unsuspecting taxpayers. This wave of tax-themed phishing messages targets both businesses and personal email addresses, but unfortunately these are just a few of the numerous schemes swimming through the web.

Joseph Carson, chief security scientist at Thycotic, a Washington D.C. based provider of privileged account management (PAM) solutions:

“The earlier you file your tax return, the lower risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime. If you do not file your taxes, it is more likely that cybercriminals will do it for you. 2018 was another major year of significant data breaches that impacted almost all of the citizens in the US, therefore, with so much sensitive data exposed and available on the public internet and in dark web, it is very likely that cybercriminals can probably complete your forms better than you, better not wait and get them done now. Tax scams have already started early and with Identity theft at an all-time high and with the changes with tac reform cybercriminals will be surely taking advantage of this.”

Atif Mushtaq, Founder and CEO of SlashNext, a California-based provider of threat intelligence and phishing defense solutions:

“Tax season is also prime phishing season for cybercriminals. Because email security tools have become so sophisticated, hackers are using them to look for new ways to target users via the browser with malicious advertising, browser pop-ups, fake login pages, and tech support scams. Even though scammers are trying to create the sense of urgency and panic to make you think your account needs updating or you won’t get a refund unless you CLICK HERE, it’s best to approach any tax-related communications with caution and think before you act.”

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