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SCAMS : Tax Season 2014

by Carol~ Moderator / April 1, 2014 1:51 AM PDT
Largest-ever U.S. tax-fraud phone scam targets thousands: IRS watchdog

Thousands of Americans nationwide have been targeted since August by a phone scam in which fraudsters claim to be from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and demand money for unpaid taxes, said the IRS' watchdog on Thursday.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said it has received more than 20,000 complaints from people, including recent immigrants, about the scam.

Thousands of victims have collectively paid more than $1 million to the scammers, TIGTA said.

"This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen," said J. Russell George, the head of TIGTA in a statement.

The fraudsters can manipulate victim's phone's caller ID so it displays the number of a local IRS office, TIGTA said.

Continued : http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/20/us-usa-tax-fraud-idUSBREA2J28W20140320

From the TIGTA: TIGTA Warns of "Largest Ever" Phone Fraud Scam Targeting Taxpayers
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The Tax Season Tech Support Scam
by Carol~ Moderator / April 1, 2014 1:54 AM PDT

"Malwarebytes Unpacked" Blog:

If you run a small business or are self-employed, you most likely have the tax deadline circled on your calendar (I know I do).

You may also need the services of an accountant, or perhaps, if you are filing directly using one of the popular accounting software, you still could use some assistance.

A company calling itself "Digital Accountants" seems to be the perfect solution. They provide a wide range of services and offer 24/7 support: [Screenshot]

The page looks completely legitimate and even displays a genuine Intuit Certified ProAdvisor stamp which validates that the site's owner is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor (even though the site clearly states "We have no affiliation with Intuit").

Continued : http://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2014/03/the-tax-season-tech-support-scam/

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A Familiar Phish Preludes The New Tax Season
by Carol~ Moderator / April 1, 2014 1:54 AM PDT

"Malwarebytes Unpacked" Blog:

Seasons always indicate the beginning of something, and more often than not, new beginnings can bring about some expected danger.

April 6 is a significant date for people in the UK as it marks another cycle of the British Personal Tax year.

Phishers know about this, too, and didn't waste time in spamming fake emails purporting to be from HMRC to recipients who may or may not fall for their trick.

A tax phish may be a good hook, but it could also work against the scammers because potential victims may already be on the lookout for them. Below is a sample of the campaign we found in the wild:

Continued : http://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2014/03/a-familiar-phish-preludes-the-new-tax-season/

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Phishing and Adware Marks US Tax Season
by Carol~ Moderator / April 3, 2014 5:00 AM PDT

Bitdefender's "HOT for Security" Blog:

Bitdefender has detected two types of scams that impersonate the Internal Revenue Service to phish for US citizens' identification data as the country nears the end of tax season.

The refund phishing scams promise users thousands of dollars in tax rebates and silently steal sensitive authentication data through phishing forms. The collected info is likely later sold on underground markets and used to steer rebate money into unauthorized accounts. [Screenshot]

The bogus messages contain either links that open fraudulent websites or fake registration forms sent as attachments to collect sensitive data about taxpayers that will eventually help fraudsters impersonate the innocent or even collect tax refunds in their names. The IRS unintentionally refunded $4 billion to identity thieves in 2011, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (pdf).

Continued: http://www.hotforsecurity.com/blog/phishing-and-adware-marks-us-tax-season-8253.html

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Tax scams: 6 ways to help protect yourself
by Carol~ Moderator / April 10, 2014 12:49 AM PDT

Microsoft Security Tips & Talk Blog:

We've received reports that cybercriminals are at it again, luring unsuspecting taxpayers in the United States into handing over their personal information as they rush to file their taxes before the deadline.

Here are 6 ways to help protect yourself.

1. Beware of all email, text, or social networking messages that appear to be from the IRS. Cybercriminals often send fraudulent messages meant to trick you into revealing your social security number, account numbers, or other personal information. They'll even use the IRS logo. Read more about how the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or use any social media tools to request personal or financial information.

2. Use technology to help detect scams. Scams that ask for personal or financial information are called "phishing scams." Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, and other programs have anti-phishing protection built in. Read more about identity theft protection tools that can help you avoid tax scams.

Continued : http://blogs.msdn.com/b/securitytipstalk/archive/2014/03/20/tax-scams-6-ways-to-help-protect-yourself.aspx

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