No one enjoys handing over the year’s tax payment to the Internal Revenue Service on April 15. However, most people expect their tax dollars to be used by the U.S. government, not handed back to cybercriminals that file fraudulent tax returns. Every year, according to an estimate from the Treasury Inspector General’s office, the IRS loses $4 billion because of fraudulent tax returns. Cybercriminals stealing personal taxpayer information have become a major force behind tax fraud.
Research on cybercrime demonstrates that phishing scams and fraud are higher at tax time than at almost any other time of year. In fact, people are only targeted more often for scams during the holiday shopping season. Fortunately, by exercising just a little cyber savvy, taxpayers can keep their personal information from becoming entangled in a case of tax fraud.