Scams are the subject this week. As you all know, or possibly don’t know, I was horribly scammed 2 years ago this month. The memory of the incident is still fresh but eventually time heals all wounds, so they say.
I want to share this article, in part, by Gary Guthrie, writer for ConsumerAffairs.com. The entire article can be found HERE
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning taxpayers of a recent spike in IRS-themed texting scams aimed at stealing both personal and financial information.
Checking the latest figures from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Affairs saw nearly triple the number of government or tax-related fraud reports than there were at the beginning of 2022. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig says it is “phishing on an industrial scale.”
The IRS said that much of the scam action is the smishing variety targeting mobile phone users. The scam messages often look like they’re actually coming from the IRS, complete with come-ons like fake COVID relief money, tax credits, or help setting up an IRS online account.
NOTE: Smishing is a form of phishing in which an attacker uses a compelling text message to trick targeted recipients into clicking a link and sending the attacker private information or downloading malicious programs to a smartphone.
The trigger point taxpayers need to watch out for
In the latest flurry of smishes, the leverage point the scammers try to get the text recipients to act on are links that lead to phishing websites where the scammer will try to collect the victim’s information or potentially send malicious code onto their phones.
“In recent months, the IRS has reported multiple large-scale smishing campaigns that have delivered thousands – and even hundreds of thousands – of IRS-themed messages in hours or a few days, far exceeding previous levels of activity,” Rettig said.
How to do your part
The following process will help capture important details for reporting smishing to the IRS:
- Create a new email to email@example.com.
- Copy the caller ID number (or email address).
- Paste the number (or email address) into the email.
- Press and hold the SMS/text message and select “copy”.
- Paste the message into the email.
- If possible, include the exact date, time, time zone, and telephone number that received the message.
- Then, send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you don’t get caught up in these scams. Good Luck!