Tax Season Phishing Scams and Malware Campaigns

Thursday, February 09, 2012



In the past, US-CERT has received reports of an increased number of phishing scams and malware campaigns that take advantage of the United States tax season.

Due to the upcoming tax deadline, US-CERT reminds users to remain cautious when receiving unsolicited email that could be part of a potential phishing scam or malware campaign.

These phishing scams and malware campaigns may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • information that refers to a tax refund
  • warnings about unreported or under-reported income
  • offers to assist in filing for a refund
  • details about fake e-file websites

These messages, which may appear to be from the IRS, may ask users to submit personal information via email or may instruct the user to follow a link to a website that requests personal information or contains malicious code.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to take the following measures to protect themselves from these types of phishing scams and malware campaigns:

  • Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages
  • Maintain up-to-date antivirus software
  • Refer to the IRS website related to phishing, email, and bogus website scams for scam samples and reporting information


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