The tactic is different but the con is the same.
The IRS has issued a warning this week about a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.
According to the IRS, the scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire.
Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers.
The following are some common tactics used by scammers trying to compromise your electronic data:
- Spoofing – The criminal poses as a trusted person or legitimate organization, such as a bank, a credit card company or government agency. However, a quick check of the email address can usually be a tip-off. While at first glance the email may look legitimate, closer inspection will often show a misspelling or an extra or missing punctuation mark.
- Demand immediate action – Creating a sense of urgency is a tool scammers use to get their victims to do something that quickly, without following their normal procedures.
- Send emails at odd hours of the night – Check the time stamp on any suspicious-looking email that demands immediate action by clicking on a link or downloading an attachment.
Let our IT Department know immediately if you have any questions or advice about protecting your computer and network.