Security experts are seeing a rise this tax season in phishing schemes and malware tied to hot-button subjects like tax refunds, stimulus payments and COVID-19 vaccines.

The Internal Revenue Service recently warned about an ongoing IRS-impersonation scam that mainly targets educational institutions, including students and staff who have “.edu” email addresses. The emails show the IRS logo and use subject lines such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.” It then asks people to click a link and submit a form to claim their refund where they are asked for personal information such as their Social Security number. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has also warned this tax season about phishing emails tied to Economic Impact Payments and COVID-19 (see story).

Tax season scams have become routine over the years, but the cybercriminals have become more sophisticated and often try to make…

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