IRS Releases a Ransomware Warning to All Taxpayers
The IRS has issued a new ransomware warning to all taxpayers. Cyber criminals have begun sending out malicious email campaigns with a “message” from the IRS and FBI. According to the email, tax payers must download a questionnaire regarding changes to the laws regarding tax compliance. However, it is no questionnaire at all. Instead, the user downloads ransomware. Below you will see an example of the malicious correspondence:
IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, made the following statement to Forbes,
“People should stay vigilant against email scams that try to impersonate the IRS and other agencies that try to lure you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. People with a tax issue won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call.”
If you have already clicked to download the “questionnaire”, do not pay the ransom demand. Paying the ransom is never a guarantee you will get your data back, and it only reinforces the criminal behavior. Instead, immediately report any ransomware attempt or attack to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.IC3.gov. You should also forward any IRS-themed scams to firstname.lastname@example.org.