That email about an IRS tax savings program is a scam

ConsumerAffairs

The ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert has also found more phishing scams

April 15 is not that far away and millions of taxpayers are thinking about it. So, if they get an email about the IRS’s new tax saving program, many people will likely take a closer look.

That would be a mistake since clicking on the link in the email will take potential victims to a gambling website. But that’s not the worst of the tax-related scams currently landing in inboxes.

The ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert has also uncovered a scheme in which victims are told that their 2023 tax payment was unsuccessful and asked to check tax receipts in an attachment.

Of course, clicking that attachment downloads malware. The Trend Micro research team found 142 logs between Feb 14-20.

Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro, says we can expect to see more tax scams as April 15 gets closer.

“Consumers need to be cautious of any unsolicited messages (text or email) that have tax information within the message and ask the user to click a link or open an attachment,” Clay told ConsumerAffairs. “Installing a security app on their device in most cases will block these messages, but consumers still need to be cautious and suspicious of these messages as scammers again use a regular event in their scams.”

There are also dangerous phishing scams that are also showing up with increased frequency.

USAA Phishing

Scammers impersonated The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) to inform victims that their email address has been updated. Scammers ask victims to verify their email addresses on a fake log-in site, potentially leading to victims' personal information being leaked. The Trend Micro research team detected 1,247 logs on Feb 19.

Apple Phishing

Bad actors pretended to be Apple to warn email receivers about unusual log-in activity, asking them to check in on another fake log-in portal. The Trend Micro research team found 562 logs on Feb 19. 

T-Mobile Phishing

Scammers invited victims to participate in a short survey to get an exclusive T-Mobile reward. The Trend Micro research team saw 6,900 logs on Feb 18.

Responding to any unsolicited email or text is risky. The promise of a valuable gift, just for filling out a survey, is always a scam. 

If you think a message might be real, look up the company’s website and contact the customer service department directly, asking if the message is legitimate.

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