THE INTERNAL REVENUE Service has warned taxpayers for years to be wary of online phishing, where people impersonate the agency using fake emails, text messages, or websites in order to steal your personal information. Last month, phishing topped the agency’s “dirty dozen” list of most prevalent scams.
But online scammers do more than masquerade as the IRS. Some have created fake versions of online accounting tools like QuickBooks, while others pretend to be tech support agents. The cybersecurity firm Lookout discovered more than 100 websites registered in recent months that appear designed to dupe people trying to file their taxes. The domains target a large pool of potential victims: More than 135 million Americans filed their taxes electronically last year, according to the IRS.