IRS Fraudsters Get An Early Jump
On Tax Season
For most of us, the new year brings hope that good things are on their way. But for many cybercriminals, the new year brings hope that IRS fraud schemes will line their pockets with stolen cash. Historically, most IRS scams go into high gear around filing time in April and fizzle out toward year’s end. Last year, however, there was a renewed interest in riding the tax scam wave as far as it can go. Experts noticed a wave of attacks involved a focusing on the October 15th deadline for those who have extensions to pay taxes. Little did anyone realize, hackers were ready and waiting with fake IRS notices for over 100,000 of those late filers, along with almost 300 fake IRS websites waiting to steal Social Security numbers, bank account data, and much more.
From the 100,000+ recipients of fake IRS notices and nearly 300 fraudulent IRS websites just this last Fall, you may hear “I had no idea” about the tax scams until it’s too late. Fake IRS phishing websites are popping up like never before and they’re getting easier to create and have them disappear from the internet in a flash–but not before stealing your identity and bank account. Whether filing online or by mail, early or late, criminals have their phishing scams ready to pounce. Fake phone calls (vishing), fake emails (phishing), and fake websites are the bait, and scammers will scare, bully, and lie their way into bank accounts and identity theft.
The problem isn’t unique to the U.S., and many countries also go through their own tax fraud problems. But now we know in the U.S. tax scams are spreading way beyond spring filing deadlines.
Filing taxes as early as possible can help reduce the likelihood of being scammed. If you file your tax return before someone else files one for you, the damage to you is mitigated. The IRS has no shortage of information about the latest tax scams on its website and it never misses an opportunity to let the public know “Scams take many shapes and forms, such as phone calls, letters and emails. Many IRS impersonators use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a fabricated tax bill.”
And perhaps most important of all, “The IRS will never contact you by email, text message or social media requesting personal information.”
MVFCU EMPLOYEES VOLUNTEER FOR JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.
From time to time, MVFCU employees will give of their time as volunteers for this incredible program. Stephanie, our Eagle River Community Office Manager recently spent time with the kids at Alpenglow Elementary School in Eagle River, teaching Kindergartners about making Smart Money choices.
It was a blast! Way to go Stephanie!
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