Application security

Researchers observe spike in tax return phishing schemes


With tax season is in full swing, cybercriminals are naturally latching on and attempting to swindle individuals out of tax returns.

While many people are accustomed to procrastination, waiting for the April 15 filing deadline, researchers at Cloudmark have already noticed a spike in phishing messages attempting to lure users into giving up their personal information in order to file for their return before they do, according to a recent blog post.

Many of the messages observed claim to be from the IRS, but one has gone as far as spoofing TurboTax, the popular do-it-yourself tax preparation software, which would also give attackers access to the victim's filing from the previous year.

Recently, Intuit – which develops TurboTax – temporarily paused its transmission of state tax return e-files as a precautionary measure after noticing an “increase in suspicious filings.”

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