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How Did They Do It?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A few weeks ago, the IRS revealed that cyber criminals walked right through the IRS’ door by accessing the Get Transcript page on their website to steal the tax returns of over 100,000 U.S. taxpayers.  The IRS stated that that taxpayer’s information was compromised from an IRS platform to commit tax fraud with bogus tax refunds totaling $50 million. This is an organized crime that the Feds are not taking this information-based crime lightly, as they are continuing their investigations.  Supposedly, the scammers were in Russia, and this caused 100,000 taxpayers to be at risk for more cybercrimes. 

It is very shocking that cyber scammers were able to penetrate the IRS website, considering the strict data security and confidentiality that the IRS abides by.  So much of our information is available in digital format with personal identifying information getting collected and stored online. There is so much potential for the valuable and poorly protected information that cyber hackers take advantage of. This puts millions of taxpayer’s tax refunds up for grabs if cyber hackers can just walk right up to the IRS website. If they can infiltrate their security, what else can they get their hands on? 

So now that cyber hackers have your personal identifiers, what can they do with it? Well, they can sell it to identity thieves on the dark web, which is like the black market of the internet. So be aware of phishing and other tactics that ask for your identifying information.  Know who you give this information to. If you receive a phone call asking you for personal information, hang up and call them back if you don’t know them.  There is an abundance of free, stolen personal data from hackers who want to embarrass companies that they can compromise, like Target and Home Depot. 

Consumers can keep an eye out on their finances and sign up for credit report monitoring for any irregular activity.  It’s not easy to stop tax fraud, but if you monitor your accounts closely, you should be able to notice suspicious activity quickly and take action. 

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP and we can assist you with any of your tax-related issues with the IRS.  We are professional business tax lawyers with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.