Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential and as applicable

‘Tis The Season Of The IRS Scam Emails

*Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information (such as usernames, passwords and credit card details) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Most people consider the IRS both trustworthy and authoritative.

IRS_phish

* “Social engineering” is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access. (Greed and fear are often used..)

IRS_phish2

ATTN: Dear Applicant
After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $314.79
“…

It would seem that good old human greed is the ‘angle of attack’ in this particular IRS phish, but I have seen fear used as well (easy to do when posing as the IRS. Most people don’t react well to the word “audit”…).

I have highlighted the clues that should trigger your “paranoid common sense” (which, yes! Dear Reader, you should double and triple while on the [unpoliced] Internet):
* wouldn’t the IRS know your name?
* I didn’t apply for anything…
* wouldn’t the IRS have the required form online? Why do you need to download an attachment? And why is the there two ‘dots’ in the attachment name? Is it a PDF? Or an HTML webpage???
* why isn’t http://www.irs.gov (which is the real URL, btw) clickable? Because they don’t want me to go there?
* Why is the IRS contacting me by email? They don’t have my email.. do they? I never gave it to them.. but they do have my mailing address..

And why is “this email is confidential” the subject line?

Just in case you are still wondering: there is a 0% chance I have another refund coming from the IRS; there is a 0% chance this email came from a Gov’t institution; there is a 100% chance of becoming a victim should I respond to this email in any way.
Gmail flagged this as spam, and was in my Junk folder, but some will slip through to your Inbox. No matter. Delete, unopened, in either case.

Unrelated: Folks, see my current software license giveaway: Software Licence Giveaway

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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March 14, 2010 - Posted by | advice, cyber crime, e-mail, Internet, Internet scam, security | , , , , , , ,

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