White Paper: Phishing & Tax Fraud

Posted March 28, 2017 6:03 pm & filed under Articles
White Paper: Phishing & Tax Fraud

Potential Spearphishing Attacked Employee

Understanding these Growing Crimes’ Effects on Businesses

Our white paper, Phishing & Tax Fraud: Understanding these Growing Crimes’ Effects on Businesses, explores the effects of phishing and tax fraud on businesses and the startling fraud trends in the Federal Trade Commission’s recently released Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) Data Book. It also shares steps companies and employees can take to mitigate their risk and the potential fall-out of becoming a victim of these growing crimes.

A key portion of the white paper explores findings in a report released by Identity Theft Resource Center, which revealed that in 2015 more than 165 million Social Security Numbers (SSN) were compromised as a result of nearly 800 data breaches. The report also shared that in 2016 nearly 200 data breach incidents were caused by spearphishing, one of the chief forms of cyberattacks against businesses. These attacks, where the thief sends a bogus email that appears to come from a “trusted” source, are designed to persuade an employee with access to sensitive data to send information like last year’s employee tax information (SSNs included). These emails often include links or attachments which, when clicked, may lead to a malicious website or install malware which infects the victim’s computer system. The reality of the threat is sobering considering that the average-sized company (with 10,000 employees) spends $3.7 million a year dealing with phishing attacks and their annual productivity loss averages $1,819,923.

The paper also addresses related IRS announcements. In February 2016, the IRS issued a consumer alert citing a 400 percent surge in spearphishing and malware incidents that tax season. The alert warned people that variations of these tax scams were being seen in both emails and text messages and that all parts of the country were reporting them. According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “While more attention has focused on the continuing IRS phone scams, we are deeply worried this increase in email schemes threatens more taxpayers. This dramatic jump in these scams comes at the busiest time of tax season. Watch out for fraudsters slipping these official-looking emails into inboxes, trying to confuse people at the very time they work on their taxes. We urge people not to click on these emails.”

Submit the form on this page to download our FREE white paper, Phishing & Tax Fraud: Understanding these Growing Crimes’ Effects on Businesses nowRead the paper to learn how to help employees recognize potential spearphishing attacks and other related cyber threats, as well as ways to mitigate identity theft risks. For even more cybersecurity threats and mitigation tips, view our infographic.