While Internet scams can occur at any time of the year, the tax season presents high-volume opportunities for cyber criminals.
East Greenbush, N.Y. (PRWEB) April 09, 2012
As the deadline for tax filing draws near, the Center for Internet Security (CIS), a national not-for-profit focused on enhancing the security readiness and response of public and private sector entities, issued tips for protecting against cyber scammers and reminds users to remain vigilant to safeguard their information.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cites identity theft as the top concern in its Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012. Criminals are obtaining individuals’ names and personal information to file fraudulent claims in attempts to receive refunds. The IRS reported that it protected more than $1.4 billion of taxpayer funds from identity theft last year.
Phishing remains a key concern as well, coming in second place on the IRS list. Scammers send emails appearing to be from legitimate organizations, such as the IRS or a tax preparer, trying to entice the recipient into providing personal and financial information.
“While Internet scams can occur at any time of the year, the tax season presents high-volume opportunities for cyber criminals,” said William Pelgrin, CIS President and CEO. “Users should be extra cautious at this time. If something seems suspicious or not legitimate, it probably is. By taking some basic steps, users can help protect themselves from becoming victims.”
CIS offers the following tips:
Do not respond to emails appearing to be from the IRS. The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. If you receive an unsolicited email purporting to be from the IRS, send it to phishing(at)irs(dot)gov
Do not respond to unsolicited emails from unknown and untrusted sources.
Do not open any attachments contained in suspicious emails.
Do not respond to emails requesting personal information or that ask you to "verify your information" or to "confirm your user-id and password."
Secure your computer. Be sure to have a firewall installed and enabled on your computer. Use anti-spyware/anti-adware protection software.
For more resources about online security, including daily cyber tips and monthly newsletters, visit the Center for Internet Security.
About the Center for Internet Security
The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the security readiness and response of public and private sector entities, with a commitment to excellence through collaboration. CIS comprises three divisions: the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, Security Benchmarks, and the Trusted Cyber Security Purchasing Alliance.