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Phishers Become More Active as Tax Filing Period Draws Close

Trend Micro, an online security company, warns that as the deadline for filing taxes (April 15, 2009) approaches in the United States, cyber criminals especially phishers are gearing up their efforts with phishing websites and e-mails that center around tax-related themes and deceive end-users into giving away personal information, as reported by SCMAGAZINE on April 9, 2009.

Reportedly, phishers this year (2009) are crafting e-mails that tell recipients how they can save money by so-called reduction in their tax preparation transaction expenditures. The new scam messages, meanwhile, no longer pose to be sent from the IRS alone.

Furthermore, although the fraudulent, phishing messages offer services of tax relief to those who seek tax help, the steps that phishers outline are very complex and sinister. For instance, a recently spammed message that poses to come from the 'IRS Tax Relief,' has content that is not so formal as can be found in an IRS spoofed phishing message. In fact, the content depicts an image that supposedly informs the user saying "We Can Help You Get Tax Relief Today!"

Moreover, the fictitious e-mail contains links that divert users to a website where they are asked to fill up information in a form. But when a user enters personal information, phishers quickly steal it. The scam proceeds further with a number of windows starting to emerge.

These are credit-related websites which, similar to the tax remission web page, too steal confidential and sensitive details of a user.

Thus, the scammers or phishers behind this fraudulent scheme have designed the attack so that it is both relevant and timely. It exploits the recession-related problems in addition to the tax time.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, Head of Taxation for ACCC (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) states that the fraudsters responsible for the above type of scams are becoming increasingly professional, and users who are unfamiliar with their fraudulent e-mails could be easily taken in, as reported by SCMgazineUS on April 9, 2009.

Meanwhile, reacting to the new scam threat, the IRS set up a web page informing everything regarding the scam. Besides, the agency reiterated that it never sends interactive e-mails to taxpayers.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

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