Monthly Security Tips
Avoiding Online Tax Scams
It’s tax season, which means it’s also time for tax scams, with numerous online scams that attempt to steal people’s tax refunds, bank accounts or identities.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates it paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft refunds in the 2013 filing season. Websense® Security Labs reported in 2014 it saw approximately 100,000 IRS-related scams in circulation every two weeks.
This year, we need to be especially careful in light of the Anthem Breach, in which data from approximately 80 million customers was exposed, triggering new phishing attacks offering false claims of credit monitoring services.
Users who have already filed their taxes this season can still be vulnerable to tax-related scams. Many schemes take advantage of users by alleging to have information about the filer’s refund or noting a problem with the return that was previously filed.
One scam that has already been impacting users this season involves phishing emails claiming to be from Intuit’s TurboTax®. The emails prompt users to click on links to verify their identity or update their accounts in an attempt to download malware to the victim’s machine or steal data such as Social Security numbers (SSNs) or financial information.
Below are some of the most common email scams users should be cautious about:
· The email says the user is owed a refund and should forward a bank account number where the refund may be deposited. Once the scammer has the bank account information, that account will see a big withdrawal, not a deposit.
· The email contains exciting offers or refunds for participating in an “IRS survey.” This fake survey is actually used to acquire information to perform identity theft.
· The email threatens the user with fines or jail time for not making an immediate payment or responding to the email.
· The email includes a “helpful” downloadable document (for example: new changes in the tax law, a tax calculator, etc.). In reality, the download is a malicious file intended to infect your computer.
How To Avoid Becoming A Tax Scam Victim
· Don't respond to emails appearing to be from the IRS. The IRS doesn't initiate taxpayer communications through email or social media to request personal or financial information. If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Don't respond to unsolicited emails and don't provide sensitive information via email. If the email appears to be from your employer, financial institution, broker, etc., contact the entity directly. Don't open any attachments or click on links contained in unsolicited or suspicious emails.
· Carefully select the tax sites you visit. Use caution when searching online for tax forms, advice on deductibles, tax preparers and other similar topics. Don't visit a site by clicking on a link sent in an email, found on someone's blog or in an advertisement. The website you land on may look just like the real site, but it may be a well-crafted fake.
· Secure your computer. Make sure your computer has all operating system and application software updates. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software should be installed, running and receiving automatic updates. Ensure you use a strong password and different passwords for each account.
You may also refer to the following resources:
· IRS 2015 Dirty Dozen Tax Scams
· What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen- FTC Guidebook
· Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts
· Report Phishing
MOBILE BANKING PROCEDURES
Enjoy banking convenience with our free Mobile Banking. Access all features via three various ways: text banking, our free app for iPhone® or Android ®, or your device's mobile browser.*
1) You must have an online banking account with us. Log onto your Online Banking from your PC & go to the User Services Tab, Manage Account section, then select Mobile Enrollment.
2) Select your mobile carrier (if other is selected, Text Banking will not be available),enter your 10 digit phone number, accept terms & conditions, and click enroll.
3) Make sure there is a check mark beside "Text Banking" and/or " Mobile Banking". Click continue to get your activation code (you must use your phone to complete the activation process within 24 hours.)
4) You can print Activation instructions, or follow steps on screen to activate Text Banking and/or Mobile Banking. Note: If Text banking was selected, you will receive a text message on your device, prompting activation. If Mobile Banking only-and not Text Banking-was selected, you will receive a text message with the URL to get to the Browser based home page.
5) At the end of the enrollment process, if you are using the Mobile Banking website, the Mobile Banking Center screen displays the available services links including:
-Activate Now, if you have enrolled but not yet activated
-Get Activation Code, if you forgot your code, or need a new one, or yours expired
-Remove this phone, if phone permanently lost or stolen
-Disable this phone, if phone is temporarily misplaced
-Change phone # or carrier, if phone details change
-FAQ, provides helpful information for Mobile Banking.
6) If you have an iPhone® or Android® and want the downloadable apps, download the app for Apple® iPhone® from the App Store or Android® through Google® Play.
7) If you have downloaded the iPhone® or Android® app, the Welcome set up screen displays. If you are already enrolled and have received your activation code, select "I have one" then enter the code and your phone number, select Activate, then OK. If you do not have an activation code, select "I need one" and follow the steps. Enter your online banking access ID & passcode to log in.
*Please note that all though our Mobile Apps are free to download, you may incur costs from your carrier for voice and/or data usage for downloading and use of the Mobile App. Rushville State Bank is in no way responsible or liable for these additional costs by your carrier, and that by downloading the app you assume all responsibility for costs of downloading and using the app from your wireless carrier or provider.