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US Tax Season and Phishing Scams

by Marianna Schmudlach / April 14, 2009 8:36 AM PDT

added April 14, 2009 at 03:13 pm

In the past, US-CERT has received reports of an increased number of phishing scams that take advantage of the United States tax season. Due to the upcoming tax deadline, US-CERT would like to remind users to remain cautious when receiving unsolicited email that could be a potential phishing scam.

Phishing scams may appear as a tax refund, an offer to assist in filing for a refund, or contain details about fake e-file websites. These messages may appear to be from the IRS and directly ask users for personal information. These messages may also contain a link and instruct the user to follow the link to a website that requests personal information or contains malicious code.

US-CERT encourages users to take the following measures to protect themselves from this type of phishing scam:

* Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
* Maintain up-to-date antivirus software.
* Refer to the IRS website related to phishing, email, and bogus website scams for scam samples and reporting information.
* Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for more information on avoiding email scams.
* Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for more information on social engineering attacks.


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