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Tax Season Is Here - Beware IRS Scams!

Esther Silver's picture

Super Bowl and Tax Season - Watch Out for Phishing Attempts and Keep Your Data Safe

The IRS as well as the FBI are warning the public of increased criminal activity surrounding the 2016 Tax Season and Super Bowl 50.

Don’t be a victim! By following the steps listed below you can help protect yourself:

  • Don’t fall for Phishing Attempts! Delete random emails that ask to confirm or give out private information and do not click on any link in the message. For more information on protecting yourself from Phishing attempts, please see ‘Protect UCSF and Myself from Phishing Attempts’.
  • Check your credit card and bank statements for payments that you didn’t make. Point of Sale and ATM Malware is on the rise.
  • Avoid using your personal devices on wireless networks often-available at large events. They are a lucrative target for mobile-device hackers! A cellular Internet connection is much safer than Wifi but if you have to use WIFI, it is better to use a network that provides individual user IDs and Passwords, and best practice is to use VPN.
  • Install the FREE UCSF anti-virus software on your computer, laptop or mac used to prepare your tax return.
  • Ensure paper copies of the tax forms are maintained in a secure location like a locked drawer or safe.
  • Back up and Encrypt electronic copies of your tax returns.
  • Dispose of all tax records properly. Shred paper copies and put them in a secure bin. Physically destroy electronic storage devices.

For additional tips on securing your data in general, please go to http://it.ucsf.edu/security and for more detailed information from the IRS or FBI, please go to:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-security-awareness-tax-tips

https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/be_crime_smart