Income Taxes – File Early to Beat the Hacker

The early bird gets the worm.  The second mouse gets the cheese.  The late tax filer gets nothing.  Why?  April is tax fraud time.  The best way to avoid losing your tax refund to a scammer is to file as early as possible, before the tax fraudster can get it done.  Having said that, this information would be more valuable in January than in April.  From US-CERT.

Tax Guidance as Deadline Approaches

03/30/2018 08:34 PM EDT  Original release date: March 30, 2018

As this year’s April 17 tax deadline approaches, NCCIC/US-CERT offers taxpayers guidance to help protect their personal, financial, and tax information. Hackers can take advantage of taxpayers by using social engineering scams to attempt to steal personally identifiable information. NCCIC encourages taxpayers to review the following resources and recommendations:

  • Avoid tax scams. Look for the telltale signs of tax scams:
    • emails that appear to come from your tax professional, requesting information for an IRS form
    • emails containing links to a supposed IRS website
    • bogus questionnaires claiming to be from the IRS or law enforcement agencies
    • calls where scammers leave urgent callback requests
  • Safeguard personal data.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Keep software updated.

If you believe you have been a victim of an IRS-related phishing attempt, visit the IRS’s page at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing to report suspicious IRS-related communications.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, Bob also conducts security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. Bob also teaches Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. Bob works as an instruction for CompTIA’s non-profit IT-Ready Program in the Twin Cities. IT-Ready is a tuition free 8-week program designed to teach students of all ages the fundamentals of IT support to prepare them for an entry level position in Information Technology Support. Graduates of the classes take the exams to become CompTIA A+ certified. Bob is a frequent speaker at conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. Bob has been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com
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