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Tax Season is Malware Season

Phishing attacks add to a stressful time of year

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While tax season draws close and many are already looking for ways to crunch numbers, another problem looms. Scammers and threat parties are preparing to exploit misinformation about filing taxes to launch a spree of attacks, much like entities have done with COVID-19. The goal is usually the same: to implement malware, steal information, and in some cases install ransomware.

Mostly, though, they want critical identity information. Traffic is high between tax filers and third-party entities, ripe for grabs. Therefore, staying vigilant in this confusing time is important. The good news, however, is that phishing attempts are easy to spot and traditionally use intimidation techniques to sway recipients. 

Business or individual, it doesn’t matter. But first off, remember a few key things:

  • Tax filing is always free and can be done through the IRS portal, though most find the process complex and prefer a tax preparer service
  • Double-check emails or messages sent from legitimate appearing service companies, as these are routine targets for phishing schemes
  • Anything involving an “account problem” is typically fraudulent
  • Do not login from an email, especially if said email is requesting you to do so

Social engineering attacks normally attempt to hijack logins by taking users to a malicious web zone. If you follow Bytagig, you know we’ve touched on the typical makeup of a phishing email message. Usually, they assert an account problem, contain links to a malicious website, whereby a user is prompted to input their login.

What they don’t realize is that the website is fraudulent and in that scenario, they’re giving away login details to malicious parties. It’s like giving the keys to a robber for your house.

Avoiding phishing attacks

Remain vigilant and cautious with any and all messages relating to tax services and/or tax info. Regardless of your tax situation, the IRS will contact you directly via mail or phone if there’s a serious issue with your taxes. 

If you’re really concerned about erroneous charges related to taxes, you can look through your bank account and statements for activity you’d see as unusual.

For additional assistance and advice, you can contact Bytagig for more info.

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