Warning from IRS: Beware IRS/FBI-themed ransomware scam

Warning from IRS: Beware IRS/FBI-themed ransomware scam

The Internal Revenue Service warns people to avoid a new phishing hoax that impersonates the IRS and FBI as part of a ransomware scheme to take computer data hostage.

The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and Federal Bureau of Investigation and tries to entice users to click on a –here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers. Victims should not pay a ransom. Often the scammers will not provide the decryption key even after a ransom is paid.

–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,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. –People with a tax issue wonêt get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call.”

Victims should immediately report any ransomware attempt or attack to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.IC3.gov. Forward any IRS-themed scams to phishing@irs.gov.

The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. For more information, visit the –Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts) page on IRS.gov.

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