How Retailers Can Protect Themselves From Tax Scams
Phishing comes in the form of email, and aims to gain information by convincing you to click on a malicious link or attachment, sometimes threatening dire consequences unless you respond. If successful, sensitive information could be exposed and your networks placed at risk.
Key Takeaway: "The IRS won't send you an email about a bill or refund out of the blue," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Don't click on one claiming to be from the IRS that takes you by surprise." Don't open attachments, click on links or reply to emails claiming to come from the IRS or a related agency.
Counsel employees to be suspicious of emails with upsetting or exciting (but false) statements that try to get them to react immediately. They should also be wary of emails that contain forms asking for confidential information, as well as links or attachments that aren't expected. Those links or attachments could be scams to steal valuable personal information, money or data, or they may install viruses or spyware on your network.
Identity and Data Theft
Fighting digital theft is an ongoing battle as thieves continue to create new ways to steal. While phone scam or phishing attempts are increasing in frequency, physical and virtual information left unprotected is still a primary target for theft during tax season. Understanding how to protect personal information, whether it's sitting in your mailbox or on a public computer, is important.
Key Takeaway: Mailbox theft has become a year-round problem, and fraudsters count on the fact that important tax documents arrive via the mail in the first quarter of the year, including employee W-2s and other company tax information.
Make sure there's a secure mail receiving process in place and, if possible, limit the number of people that handle the mail internally.