Hackers and scammers are back at it again … and they’re better than ever. Recently we’ve seen a big upswing in the number, and relative sophistication, of hacker and scammer attacks. They’re sending sophisticated emails and “snail mail” invoicing to target unwitting individuals and companies.
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Every year around this time, the IRS issues a warning about scams that attempt to victimize taxpayers and steal from them. More often than not, the victims of these crimes are senior citizens. The scams have varying levels of sophistication. From simple - such as calling on the phone and posing as an IRS agent - to sophisticated phishing scams that attempt to get taxpayers to reveal information that can be used to hack key user accounts.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last month several high profile companies were hacked and individuals’ personal information was compromised. The sites included health insurance providers, job searching sites, restaurant chains, a fitness and diet tracking website and even online photo storage sites. The numbers of people potentially involved in these breaches are staggering.
T'is the season! Tax season that is. It’s also identity theft season. Last year over 100,000 people discovered that their identity had been stolen when they attempted to file their taxes. While the IRS and other tax jurisdictions have worked diligently to reduce the number of fraudulent filings, there is still a lot that you can do to protect yourself from identity theft.
If you’ve traveled you know how unproductive travel time can feel sitting and waiting for your plane. So, you figure you’ll just hop on the airport’s Wi-Fi and check your email or send out a proposal. NOT SO FAST!
Unless you’ve planted your head firmly in the sand, you’ve probably seen or read about numerous computer hacks and scams. Identity theft is a very real problem, but when a ne’er-do-well accesses your accounting system and puts your customers’ sensitive data at risk, it can spell doom for your business.
The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning about a fairly sophisticated new phishing scam. Phishing, a technique where a malefactor impersonates someone (in this case the IRS,) in an effort to steal sensitive information such as user names, passwords and account numbers.
Data breaches have been in the news of late. They range from seemingly minor incidents to those which affected hundreds of thousands of customers at companies
Some taxpayers receive emails that appear to be from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, trying to trick victims into providing personal and financial information.
Do not respond or click any link. If you receive this scam, forward it to email@example.com and note that it seems to be a scam phishing for your information.
TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests, and does not have access to, any taxpayer’s personal and financial information.
Q: I am fed up and frustrated trying to keep—and remember passwords that are both complex and creative. This is frustrating and I am at my wit's end. What can I do to make it easier for me to remember but more secure against attacks? -Mary Kay C, Business Executive, Brookpark, Ohio
A: Thanks for your question, Mary Kay. Yours is one that almost everyone can relate and you are not alone in your frustration. Fortunately, I may be able to provide some insight and an alternative for you.