It seems like every season has an angle that hackers and scammers use to prey on unsuspecting individuals. We just managed to make it through the holiday season and now we are besieged with people trying to take advantage of us during tax season.
IRS imposter scams are not new. Most of these tax scams involve either directed phishing email campaigns, or more frequently, calling individuals and claiming to be the IRS or a collection agency hired by the IRS. Many times these scammers even know the victim’s Social Security number and address because they have been taken from stolen data. Many even spoof IRS caller IDs so they seem legitimate.
Unfortunately, for the novice scammer or hacker, there are a number of online hacker forums on the Darkweb where criminals provide information and answer questions about how to best exploit these seasonal opportunities. For example, many scams target specific demographics. In fact, some online forums claim that the success rate of tax-season scams is highest when an individual or criminal organization targets immigrants, green card holders, small business owners, or individuals who are either new taxpayers under the age of 25, or who are over 60 years old. Unfortunately, this sort of targeting hits a number of possible exploit buttons.