02 Mar 2011

Scammers are ready for tax season

As people are gearing up for tax season, so are computer scammers.

Consumers and businesses will be targeted by scams claiming to represent the IRS or U.S. Department of the Treasury, according to the Tire Review. The methods for gaining access to personal information include emails, Twitter, online messages, phones, faxes and fake websites.

Consumers targeted by these types of scams usually receive urgent messages requesting information in order to receive a refund or avoid a penalty. The message contains a link that may secretly download malware to the victim’s computer.

Some of the most frequent scams appearing during and directly after tax season include Lottery winnings or cash consignment, which claim to be from the Treasury Department. The beneficial owner form method is a fax-based phishing scam that requests passport numbers and personal and financial information.

Tips for spotting potentially dangerous items include misspelled words, threats of consequence for not responding to the email, very long web addresses and requests for unusual amounts of information.

According to a recent report from the Cyber Security Institute, malware is the most common attack threatening computer users.