Tax season is the busy season for identity thieves, according to a warning issued Friday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“Be careful when sharing your personal and tax information — particularly online,” a news release noted. “In the Tax-Season Phishing Scam, crooks send fake email, text and other messages that appear to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies.”
The fraudsters try to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal and financial information that can be used to steal their identities.
The email may seek information related to filing status, personal and PIN information and other tax-related details. It also may ask the victim to click on a bogus website that appears to be an official IRS site but instead uses malware to steal personal information from the victim’s computer.
In response, the LADA offered the following tips:
- Don’t provide personal or financial information solicited by email, text, online or other communications that you didn’t initiate.
- Look carefully at email addresses and website URLs before opening; don’t click on suspicious links.
- If uncertain, contact the IRS or a tax professional through official channels.
Report fraud to the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at (800) 593-8222 or http://dcba.lacounty.gov.
Deputy District Attorney Rouman Ebrahim explains how the scam works in this video: http://da.lacounty.gov/community/fraud-alerts/tax-season-phishing-scam-seeks-to-hook-data.
The above information was shared with The Signal via a news release from the L.A. County D.A.’s Office.