As more and more Americans continue to turn to technology to file their taxes, there is an undercurrent of risk. But that risk is doing nothing to deter the use of e-filing methods. According to eFile, of the more than 135 million tax returns filed for the 2016 tax year, 92% were filed electronically.
Still, in defense of consumers and tax professionals, the IRS itself has encouraged the use of e-filing channels with the bait of faster refunds. This is no doubt music to cybercriminals’ ears as it presents additional opportunities to use sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) about filers — including Social Security Numbers, PIN numbers, and financial and tax data — to their advantage. For those unlucky enough to fall victim to tax fraud, the outcomes include identity theft and stolen tax refunds. And with average refunds last year (and so far this year) logging in at more than $2,900, the ramifications of falling victim would be devastating to many filers.
Read about several ways taxpayers can keep a keen eye for vicious attacks and tricks aimed at obtaining sensitive information on Information Security Buzz.