Hackers profiting from everything during tax season, from phony refunds to AI phishing attempts

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Hackers profiting from everything during tax season, from phony refunds to AI phishing attempts
Hackers profiting from everything during tax season, from phony refunds to AI phishing attempts

Cybercriminals are getting ready to take advantage of people during tax season by using a variety of techniques to steal personal information and refunds

Cybercriminals are preparing to exploit individuals during tax season by employing a range of strategies to pilfer refunds and personal data. Scams like QR code schemes, AI-powered phishing emails, and the dark web sale of private tax data are on the rise.

Scamming users with fake refunds, impersonations, and AI

Over 1,30,000 tax scam instances were reported in the UK in the last year, with 58,000 of those cases containing fictitious tax rebate offers, according to a Check Point Research analysis. Tax authorities are being impersonated by con artists who offer rebates, require changes to tax details, or even issue arrest threats for tax cheating.

Check Point researchers have found numerous cases of malware and phishing related to taxes. In one instance, threat actors used malicious PDFs with QR codes that directed users to websites that stole credentials to pose as the IRS.

The issue has taken on a new dimension with the emergence of AI chatbots. These programs can produce phone scripts and emails that look like they belong in a tax scam intended for senior citizens.

Hackers sell sensitive tax documents, including valid W2 and 1040 forms, to gullible people on the dark web. Some hackers are selling these documents for as much as $75 apiece, but others are giving them away or offering large discounts. In order to enable popular tax businesses to file false refund claims on behalf of the victims, hackers are also offering access to bank accounts for refund deposits and remote desktop privileges.

It’s best to get in touch with the tax offices directly by letter during tax season, rather than by phone or email, to ensure your safety. Keep an eye out for odd attachments, poor grammar or tone, and dubious requests for private information to spot phishing attempts.

If you receive a questionable email, do not open the attachment, click the link, or reply. Rather, delete the email and report it. Purchasing anti-phishing software can offer a complete defense against these attacks.

It’s critical to remain vigilant and aware of these changing risks as tax season approaches in order to safeguard your private data and hard-earned refunds.

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