We are entering the last few days of the US personal income tax season. The filing deadline April 15th is just about a week away. So far, it has been not to busy when it came to scams. But here a few things to watch out for:
- fake e-file websites. Only use reputable companies. I did a quick check earlier and didn't see any obvious fakes on Google, but this may change at any time.
- IRS e-mails: The IRS will never send you an e-mail asking you to go to a website to get a refund.
- malicous tax preparation software: Don't just download the next best free tax prep software package.
- and once you are all done: Make good offline backups. If you used tax preparation software, burn a couple CDs with your files and don't forget to retain a copy of the software itself so you can read the files later. Keep a paper copy. This includes supporting electronic files like account software and spread sheets that you may use to track finances.
If you come across any suspect websites, let us know.
Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.
SANS Technology Institute http://twitter.com/johullrich
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