Beware of Tax Day Phishing Scams
The seasonal rise in phishing threats associated with the April tax season has begun. As in previous years, the phishing scam usually appears in inboxes disguised as a notice to taxpayers that their refund is available. Phishers use this ploy as an opportunity to gain access to personal identity and account information, pretending the IRS needs this to deposit the refund into the correct account.
As you know, there are numerous online filing services, ranging from tax consultants to calculators, that complete and file your tax forms electronically. When you use these services, you will receive legitimate email notifications from them and from the bank acting as the transfer agent to the IRS. The fact that such notifications are commonplace provides the perfect opportunity for phishers to prey on unsuspecting victims by asking for a bank card number "to deposit a refund" or a Social Security number "for identity verification."
Remember that all official correspondence with the IRS is done through the U.S. Postal Service. The IRS never sends emails asking for any financial, personal or identity information. Do not respond to these types of emails. If you have any questions about an email concerning your online tax filing and/or refund from your tax software provider or online filing service, go to the tax service website or contact them by phone. Do not click on any links in the email.
Beware of offers that allow you to get loans on your income tax refund. Though some may be legitimate, this is a notorious model for phishing scams.
For more information on Tax Day scams, visit the IRS security communication website here.
To give you an idea on just how successful phishing scams have become, SonicWALL released results of their online phishing quiz in which three million people responded. When asked to determine whether a suspect email was a phishing e-mail or a legitimate email, respondents were wrong 22% of the time. In addition, quiz results reveal that 1 in 10 people will act on a phishing email even after they have been told it is suspicious; actions include opening the email, clicking on links and even providing personal data at the phisher's website. When in doubt, delete! It is most likely a scam email.
Announcing New Certifications!
We would like take a moment to recognize a few of our engineers who have recently passed major technical certification exams. Our engineers have spent several Saturdays in training and countless nights studying for these challenging tests. Congratulations for all of your hard work!
David Perez is now a Citrix CCA for XenApp 6.
Nate Smith, Greg Hendrickson and Jeff Tompkins are now certified in Microsoft Exchange 2010.
Greg Hendrickson and Jim Miller both became Network + certified.
Greg Hendrickson also passed his Active Directory 2008 certification. Great job, Greg!