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New Surge in Sophisticated Phishing Scams warns Internal Revenue Service


There is a new surge in sophisticated phishing scams warns Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the state tax agencies. The IRS said on December 4, 2018 (i.e. on Tuesday), that they have seen a rise in email phishing scams reports which are tax-related. Thus they have warned the taxpayers to remain careful from such emails, in order to keep their information as well as refunds safe from the identity thieves.


Tax-related phishing scams that were reported to IRS declined in the last 3 years until a rise in 2018. As per the agency, they have received reports of over 2,000 tax-related scam instances between January and October of this year, whereas they have received reports of around 1,200 tax-related scam instances in the whole of 2017.


In the phishing attacks, the scammers use websites or emails to get taxpayers providing them with their tax, financial and personal information. In their emails, as per the IRS, the scammers often pose as people whom the recipients of the email believe they can trust.


As per the IRS, the taxpayers could protect themselves from phishing and various other tax scams just by not opening the links from sources that looks suspicious, by having their passwords strong and by using software to get protected against viruses contained in the phishing emails.


The IRS said that "the phishing emails, which use varying language, demands a payment or threatens to seize the recipient's tax refund". These email schemes are noticeable as they often have bad grammar and misspelling. These email schemes should be forwarded by the taxpayers to phishing@irs.gov.


The holidays as well as the tax season present many opportunities for the scam artists to attempt stealing valuable information via fake emails, said Chuck Rettig, the IRS Commissioner in a statement. Rettig further added that "watch your inbox for these sophisticated schemes that try to fool you into thinking they're from the IRS or our partners in the tax community. Taking a few simple steps can protect yourself during the holiday season and at tax time".


Apart from the email phishing attempts, there are phone scams also. The IRS warned that "one of the most common phone scams is the caller pretending to be from the IRS and threatening the taxpayer with a lawsuit or with arrest if payment is not made immediately, usually through a debit card".


The IRS reminded the taxpayers that it does not initiate spontaneous contact via email, requesting financial or personal information.


» SPAMfighter News - 12/20/2018

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