Taxpayer’s need to be on the lookout for new, sophisticated email phishing scams. These scams not only endanger someone’s personal information, but they can also affect a taxpayer’s refund in 2018.
Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to get personal information from you. In many cases, the attacker will use trusted sources to fool you into believing the phishing email is from someone you can trust. The emails often have the look and feel of authentic communications. These targeted messages can trick even the most cautious person into doing something that may compromise their personal data.
You should be vigilant and skeptical. Even if the email is from a known source, you should use caution because cybercrooks are very good at mimicking trusted businesses, friends and family.
Here are four examples of email phishing scams:
1. Emails requesting personal information. The thief might ask for bank account numbers, passwords, credit cards and Social Security numbers. This is the most common way thieves steal data.
2. A message with an email address spoofing a familiar address to look like trusted businesses, friends and family. Email addresses can be slightly altered to look like a trusted source.
3. Emails saying the recipient has a tax refund waiting at the IRS or that the IRS needs information about insurance policies. The IRS doesn’t initiate spontaneous contact with taxpayers through email to request personal or financial information.
4. The emails that will include any attachments that may download malware or viruses. Never open an attachment from a suspicious email address.