DON’T TAKE THE BAIT – AVOID GETTING DUPED BY TAX ‘PHISHING’ SCAMS
Tax Tuesday: BBB Warns of Online Impostors
Lake Oswego, Ore. – Feb. 12, 2013 – With the tax deadline approaching, fraudsters and phishers are increasingly taking aim at unsuspecting Oregonians. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington warns filers about one of the most common tax phishing schemes: scammers sending bogus emails to dupe people into revealing private information.
The Internal Revenue Service says that scammers often masquerade as legitimate tax preparers or government agents promising unbelievable refunds or claiming problems with tax returns. Phishing emails:
– Ask for replies to “verify” personal information.
– Include hyperlinks that redirect to scam websites with fake forms or harmful computer viruses.
– Contain malicious attachments.
Watch for red flags when analyzing correspondence:
Unsolicited Requests: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media.
Used Logos: Scammers regularly hijack company logos or agency seals to appear official; be skeptical of distorted or discolored images.
Unusual Language: Phishers are more likely to use unorthodox grammar and spelling; keep an eye out for obvious mistakes.
Unknown Links: Fraudsters enclose hyperlinks with coded Web addresses, which usually lead to dangerous sites.
Unexpected Attachments: Financial institutions will not send attachments unless it’s for specific requests.
TAX SEASON THIEVES ARE AFTER W-2 DETAILS
Tax Tuesday: Identity Theft Prevention Reminders From BBB
Lake Oswego, Ore. – Feb. 5, 2013 – With tax season in progress, identity thieves know that W-2s are now in mailboxes, vehicles and other unsecured locations.
Some tax forms contain personal identifiers such as Social Security numbers and birthdates—which thieves can use to steal identities. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington reminds employees to securely transport and store sensitive paperwork:
– Lock important items in file cabinets or safes.
– Don’t leave paperwork unattended in vehicles or offices.
– Pick up mail quickly if secured mailboxes or P.O. boxes are not an option.
BBB offers more identity theft prevention tips at akorww.bbb.org/identity-theft-prevention.