RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)–With tax season in full swing, you need to beware of some potential scams lurking.
That’s because a large number of people use some kind of financial related technology that gives scammers easy access to get their personal information.
It’s a literal war between scammers and victims.
This year, scammers have come up with another plan to abscond with your money during tax season: using fake tax return letters that steal people’s credentials.
Here’s how is it done; all you do is click a link.
Mark Ostrowski, a Cybersecurity expert with Check Point Software Technologies says millions of consumers are getting fake emails, supposedly from financial tech firms, claiming they have a document you need for tax preparation.
The letters urge you to click a link at the bottom. However, the links are sinister because they are there to harvest your credentials.
“They’re asking you for information,” said Ostrowski. “In this case, they want sensitive information like your social security number and things like that.”
The criminals add the information they’ve coerced from you to readily available information about you available on social media and, suddenly, you’re exposed to all kinds of trouble.
Ostrowski warns the criminals behind the scam will actually build a profile on you based on your social media and the other information they have harvested.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “Either they’re selling your credentials somewhere to make money or…using that to gain access to an account that uses similar credentials.”
The FBI calls theses scammers “Business Email Compromise Actors” and says the use of this tactic is exploding.
To protect yourself: never click links in unsolicited emails and check the URL address.
Secure websites have a padlock icon and an “S” on the end of the HTTP to show its’s secure.
“It’s kind of like a handshake and we’re talking to who we expect to talk to and verifying the information is encrypted” said Ostrowski.
These scammers also like to pretend they are the IRS. Remember, the IRS will never send you anything via Email, text or message you by social media.
The IRS will only contact you through the U.S. mail.
The agency also will not call threating to send local police arrest you within the hour because you owe them money.