darkweb news 2023

IRS Warns of New Smishing Scam

Hackers Target Tax Return Checks

Americans have been warned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about an exponential surge in text message phishing attempts. According to the recent scam involving the IRS, hackers have increased their hacking attacks that steal the financial and personal information of US citizens, especially around the busy tax season.

Analytical reports released by the IRS shows that during the past tax session, numerous bogus domains were being created to harvest the private data of individuals that visited fake websites through links connected to MMS/SMS/text scams. Another scam known as smishing attacks, is the latest by criminal hackers; it also shows that their targeted victims were US taxpayers.

As reported so far in 2022, the”IRS-themed smishing scams have expanded quite significantly. It was acknowledged that these types of cyber attacks are more prevalent during the US tax season, also they have increased exponentially over the past few decades.

The most prolific hacking groups are well versed at launching their scam attacks based on the time of year. Particularly during January through April, phishing letters have reportedly inundated the email inbox of American citizens.

So far, cyber analysts revealed that the landing pages documented were created with several types of bait to capture sensitive information,which would allow them to target tax refund payments.

Famous Brands Lure Victims

Instances of some targeted hackers’ scams show that mostly text messages are being sent to unsuspecting victims. The threat actors usually impersonate big brands, financial institutions, or famous people, with these familiar aspects; it is expected that the intended recipients would more likely click on something they trust.

Some targets in 2022 were US government agencies, such as the IRS. The hackers have also sent smishing emails that target banks and other financial institutions. In other instances, victims have reported malicious links that redirect them to fraudulent webpages of popular banks, where users are urged to confirm mysterious purchases.

Some scams even asked them to unlock frozen credit cards, this strategy is often reported among some of the most persuasive phishing baits used in the hackers’ SMS text messages.

Most criminal hackers that launched these phishing scams often concentrate on obtaining their victims’ financial information, which they can use to steal cash by accessing their accounts. While other less selective hackers just gather all personal information they can steal, these are mostly used in other frauds, or sold on dark web marketplaces to other threat actors.

According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, “This is phishing on an industrial scale, so thousands of people could be in danger of getting these scam letters.” The IRS has revealed numerous large-scale smishing schemes that brought in thousands, if not millions of dollars to dark web hackers, on a yearly basis.

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