Beware: Tax Scams & Hacks

tax-468440_1280Hackers are actively plotting to steal your most personal and valuable information, and get your tax refund to boot.

And remember, existing hacks from the prior year may yet bite.  But even if you haven’t been compromised, a recent audit of approved online tax preparers says that six out of 13 fail at cybersecurity.

One phishing scam impersonates a trusted security partner’s CEO and asks customer accounting and human resources for copies of employee W2 forms.

“Alanna,

I want you to send me the list of the W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

Stu”x”

What to do?

The IRS has actually published one handy guide at https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Taxes-Security-Together.  Another cautionary tale with helpful avoidance techniques is at Krebsonlinesecurity  Forbes  has published the “Dirty Dozen”  2016 schemes to watch for.

And, by the way, make sure your individual tax preparer has performed a deep scan and employs acceptable security precautions.  You are entitled to ask!

Read this – a true story from Quartz Online –  and weep – a preview of what’s to come for the unlucky