New tax scam targets military personnel
The tax filing deadline for most servicemen and women stationed abroad, but in addition to paying attention to what they must report to the Internal Revenue Service, they need to be on the lookout for a new tax scam.
The scam’s methodology is yet another email-based phishing trick.
But, says the IRS, this latest scam is specific. The fake message is going to Department of Defense military members, retirees and civilian employees.
The email appears to come from Defense Finance and Accounting Services, according to the IRS. It even displays a .mil email address.
The crooks take the personal, tax and financial information and, using the senders’ identities, empty their bank accounts, run up charges on their credit cards and apply for new cards, loans or benefits in the victims’ names.
Be vigilant year-round: Tax-related phishing scams are common during the high tax season, January through mid-April.
Tax scam do’s and don’ts: If you receive, or I should say when you receive since all of us will be a scam target eventually, a suspicious tax-related email —
- Don’t believe anything in an alleged IRS email. The agency doesn’t communicate with individual filers this way. If you have a question, call the IRS directly, and toll-free, at 1-800-829-1040.
- Don’t reply to the emails, even to say “buzz off!”
- And definitely don’t open any links in the con artists’ messages. They could set off a computer virus or other malware designed to capture your private information.