Threat Management

IRS-themed smishing scams on the rise

The Internal Revenue Service has warned that IRS-themed smishing scams have sharply increased, especially during the past few weeks, with thousands of fraudulent text scam-related domains aimed at taxpayers identified and reported in recent months, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. Such phishing activity, which involved COVID-19 relief- or tax credit-related lures, was regarded by IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig to be "on an industrial scale," with the hundreds of thousands of IRS-themed messages in hours or a few days being significantly higher than previously reported. "While the IRS works to shut down online fraud, criminals are using ever-evolving tactics to cast a wider net and catch more victims, like using algorithms to automatically generate hundreds or even thousands of fraudulent domains," said the IRS. Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission has already opened public comment for proposals on how the agency could bolster curbing scam messages.

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