Phishing technique: Message from the government


With the evolution of the internet, online services have grabbed the attention of every sector, including the government. Nowadays, online amenities are available in almost all government institutions, especially when it comes to visa applications, immigration, family and child registration, railway or airline tickets, e-banking, paying utility bills, taxes, government grants or employment opportunities. According to the Pew Research Center, 82 percent of internet users completed their transactions on a government website or looked for information online.

The problem may arise when communication takes place between an individual and government agencies, whether such communication is through a website, phone calls, emails, fax, or text messages. Hackers use government references and threats of government action to trick people into taking actions that result in losing their sensitive information or money. For example, government imposters become more active during tax season in order to spread malware and phishing emails. They can trick you into providing your credentials, such as login name, password or other banking details to transfer money or perform other dangerous acts.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the U.S., more than 200,000 complaints have been received from individuals who have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration or other government agency.

In this article, we’ll explore how the government imposter scam works. We’ll look at common government-related scams and red flags and recommend ways to avoid government imposter scams.

How does a government imposter scam work?

The FTE reports that most government imposter scams start with a phone call. Government imposters can create a sense of urgency involving fear, asking you to send money promptly. In addition, they might also require your government ID number to avoid arrest, claiming that you have unpaid taxes.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Fakhar Imam. Read the original post at: