As tax season approaches, Exchange customers must stay on the alert for online phishing scams. Tax-related email scams often involve asking for personal data, such as your name, address and Social Security number. Other scams involve tricking people into believing they have uncollected tax refunds. Potential victims are asked to pay for services to claim the refund, which doesn’t exist.
The Exchange recently learned of an email scam targeting Department of Defense military members, retirees and civilian employees. The email appears to come from Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) and has a “.mil” address. The email suggests that those receiving VA disability compensation are eligible for additional funds from the IRS. Recipients of the email are asked to send VA and IRS documents with personal and financial information to address in Florida. Scammers are using that information to commit identity theft.
Be aware of phishing, or fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate institutions and typically ask for IDs and passwords. Phishing attacks often threaten account access or funds if the recipient doesn’t act immediately. Also, watch out for financial scam emails, which lure potential victims with a prize, but only if they pay in advance. Random Internet email drawings and gift card giveaways are examples of such scams.