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New Tax Return Online Scam Unleashed by Cybercriminals

According to the security experts at the security firm AppRiver, cybercrooks have launched a latest online scam especially crafted to take advantage of people keenly awaiting online tax returns.

The firm highlighted that, these fake e-mails, which purport to be from the United States' 'Internal Revenue Service' (IRS), notifies the receivers that, there Federal Tax Payment has been discarded. The bogus e-mail also directs receivers to click on an enclosed hyperlink for further details, however clicking on this malicious link leads to the running of malevolent piece of software.

The harmful malicious software is a type of the Zeus Trojan, which for over a year has been installed by cyber crooks to compromise banking information from users' machines and mobile phones.

The security firm (AppRiver) claims that it is the recent Zeus variant has a quite low detection rate on VirusTotal as only one of the 41 solutions utilized managed to identify the file for what it was.

The security firm further added that the aspect that makes this risk specifically dangerous is the timing of the attack.

The security firm stated that as the U.S. government waited to broaden tax cuts until the end of 2010, a considerable amount of people asserting certain deductions had their online tax returns held by their online tax preparation firms, like TurboTax and H&R Block until Feb. 14 (2011).

Commenting on the matter, Troy Gill, Security Analyst at AppRiver stated that, majority of these individuals would have got an e-mail on February 14, 2011 notifying that their tax return has been dispatched to the IRS and that they would receive another e-mail confirmation, after the return had been taken by the IRS. He further stated that, to be precise, several Americans are probably expecting to hear whether their tax return has been accepted or discarded through e-mail within the subsequent 48 hour duration, thus this attack could actually not be better timed, as reported by PCWorld on February 15, 2011.

Gill concluded by suggesting that, if anyone receives some kind of an e-mail, they should immediately discard it rather than felling simple prey to the scam. The IRS never sends any e-mail with some file attachments. If anyone receives such kind of an e-mail, that users think might be from the IRS, they should immediately contact the IRS directly to find out the current status of their tax return.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

» SPAMfighter News - 2/28/2011

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