Celebrating our CSEPP Partner Carl Ballinger

Celebrating with our CSEPP and Pueblo County Sheriff's Office partners to celebrate as Carl Ballinger retires after more than 20 years service in the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program.

Carl Bellinger honored for more than 20 years service

Avoiding Online Tax Scams

Newsletter from Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center from the Desk of Thomas F. Duffy, Chair.  Shared with permission from MS-ISAC

It’s tax season, which means it’s also time for tax scams. Some tax scams occur when fraudulent tax returns are filed in the victim’s name while other variants occur when the malicious actors call the victim and pretend to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents. In addition, there are malicious actors who use the tax season to spread malware and phishing emails.

Tax scams where the malicious actor files the return in the victim’s name include both identity theft and identity fraud, as well as tax fraud. This scenario occurs when the malicious actor finds or receives information about the tax filer, including the filer’s name, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number. The malicious actor then uses this information to file a malicious tax return, citing as many deductions as possible, in order to create as large a tax return as possible.

The other variant of tax scams occur when the malicious actor contacts the victim and tries to convince the victim to do something, such as immediately paying a fine or providing their financial information so a refund can be issued. In these instances the malicious actor uses what they know about the victim, often information gained for a data breach or social networking website, to convince the victim that the caller has access to the victim’s tax information. Frequently during these calls the caller will pretend to be an IRS agent.

In the third type of tax scam, malicious actors use tax related spam, phishing emails, and fraudulent websites to trick victims into providing login names, passwords, or additional information, which can be used in further fraud. Other emails or websites may download malware onto the victim’s computer.

What to Watch Out For

  • Watch for “spoofed” websites that look like the official website but are not.
  • Don’t be fooled by unsolicited calls. The IRS will never call to demand an immediate payment or require you to use a specific payment method such as pre-loaded debit or credit cards, or wire transfers. They will never claim anything is “urgent” or due immediately, nor will they request payment over the phone.
  • The IRS will not be hostile, insulting, or threatening, nor will they threaten to involve law enforcement in order to have you arrested or deported.
  • Sometimes malicious actors change their Caller ID to say they are the IRS. If you’re not sure, ask for the agent’s name, hang up, and call the IRS (or your state tax agency) back using a phone number from their official website.

Recommendations

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or identity fraud, there are a couple of steps you should take:
If you receive spam or a phishing email about your taxes, do not click on the links or open any attachments, instead forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Other tax scams or frauds can be reported according to the directions on this page: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/How-Do-You-Report-Suspected-Tax-Fraud-Activity%3F.

Further Information


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The information provided in the Monthly Security Tips Newsletter is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization's end users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization's overall cyber security posture. This is especially critical if employees access their work network from their home computer. Organizations have permission and are encouraged to brand and redistribute this newsletter in whole for educational, non-commercial purposes.

Disclaimer: These links are provided because they have information that may be useful. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in the links and neither endorses nor intends to promote the advertising of the resources listed herein. The opinions and statements contained in such resources are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of CIS.





Colorado Daily Status Report for February 10, 2016



Daily Status image

Alerts/Warnings
National Terrorism Advisory System: No Current Alerts | Bulletin
State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) Status
Day to Day
Current Disasters/Large Incidents
No incidents requiring State support

To read the Colorado Daily Status Report for February 10, 2016