TurboTax Phishing Alert
2018 - 2019 Tax Season
Buyer Beware, as the new tax season kicks off, we all need to take heed and ante up on our detective skills. Avoiding not so humorous spoofs for TurboTax products can be a tricky task.
As in each and every tax season, the bad dudes are looking to take advantage of the not so cautious TurboTax consumers that aren't always looking closely at what they are doing, or clicking on.
Recognizing TurboTax Phishing Threats
There are many red flags that should by all means trigger an inquisitive investigation into whether a TurboTax marketing solicitation is real, or an unruly phishing attempt to steel your money, credit card info, ID and much more.
Phishing schemes are designed to lure and victimize unsuspecting taxpayers into revealing personal identification and financial information. To avoid becoming a victim of fraud, it's important to know what to look for.
For your protection, we will lay out several types of scams, and how to recognize them. However, before we start you should know that these treats can come from anywhere. Common attacks include email solicitations, online efforts, and Smartphone promotions. So what were saying here is, keep your eye on the ball!
Top Tips For Identifying TurboTax Phishing
TurboTax and IRS Phishing emails
Email is where the most common phishing attempts come from. These messages generally direct recipients to a “spoof website” that often appears to be an organization the recipient is associated with financially. This may be a bank, credit card company, financial account, or even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). email phishing threat identifiers include:
- Promotions stating that you are the awarded recipient of an inheritance, lottery winnings, or tax refund, and you need to provide personal information, or click a link to claim it.
- Warnings stating your credit card number was fraudulently used by someone, and to click on a link to visit a website and reset your account, or file a claim to stop the theft.
- Threats stating you are in default or late on payments and to avoid penalties you must submit immediate payment.
- Generic email solicitations reading "Dear valued customer" instead of being addressed to your name
- Variations of legitimate website addresses that resemble an actual site, conflicting web addresses
Phishing Threats Often Instigate Our Fears and Vulnerabilities As A Call To Action
These types of phishing scams target TurboTax consumers as attacks unrelated to the IRS in many cases. Be suspicious of solicitations in emails threatening consequences if you don’t respond or click on a link immediately.
Identity theft is one of the most common tax season scams, and it most often surfaces through bogus email solicitations. By adopting false identities, these scam artists attempt to extract personal and financial information, or they instigate ploys to plant destructive malware on your computer.
They often present themselves as IRS agents stating problems with your tax return or refund. They can then attempt to get your Social Security number or bank account information to fix the problem. Be leery of clicking links as they could install spyware or malware that can steal your files and personal data.
Don't Be A TurboTax Phishing Victim!
These scams are often played out successfully due to consumer fear of the IRS repercussions. When something looks or sounds official, and it’s from the IRS, taxpayers are often too quick at sending information or clicking a link because they are scared of trouble surfacing with the IRS. It's always wise to slow down, think, and do some quick research to be sure what your dealing with is legitimate and not a phishing scam.
If they get your Social Security number, scammers can file phony tax returns in your name and claim a tax refund using a different address to receive the funds.
The simple preventions tip is to only use a tax service that is well-known, has a good history, or is registered with the IRS.
Bottom line, keep your whit's about you! Don't jump to fast and don't get all worked up and scared. If threatening calls to action exist, it's probably a scam!