Diligent taxpayers are being increasingly targeted by con artists who are well-versed in manipulating the revenue system. The crooks usually impersonate IRS (U.S. Internal Revenue Service) officials, sending fake emails or messages on social media in an attempt to defraud the targeted individuals of their money. Unfortunately, lots of people fall for these scams, and the malefactors are raking in significant profits. Below is a list of the prevalent tax swindles doing the rounds nowadays.

Email reminders from IRS impostors

In a recent move, fraudsters have been impersonating IRS representatives to hoodwink people into downloading malicious software. The scam revolves around spoof emails with the subject similar to “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.” The wording varies, though.

These messages include links leading to a replica of the IRS.gov web page that contains information about a purported refund, electronic return or the recipient’s tax account. The criminals also provide an OTP (one-time-password) that supposedly allows the person to access the documents required for submitting the refund. However, this is just a red herring to dupe the taxpayer into downloading malware from the scammers’ server.

The SSN ruse

When perpetrating this stratagem, crooks try to scare the victims into thinking that their Social Security number is about to be suspended or canceled. To this end, the felons have launched a robocall campaign allegedly stemming from the IRS. In order to put extra pressure on the targets, the ne’er-do-wells may make additional claims about overdue taxes. The goal is to make people return the voicemail for further chicanery.

Artifice based on caller ID spoofing

Another form of the IRS impersonation fraud involves robocalls from what appears to be a phone number of the local Taxpayer Advocate Service office. In fact, though, the unscrupulous callers leverage a (Read more...)