The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning alerting the public to a new email phishing scam that looks like a joint notice from the IRS and FBI about new tax laws.
The phishing email uses the emblems of both agencies, and asks recipients to download an FBI questionnaire related to “changes of tax laws of the United States.” When recipients click on the link, ransomware infects and encrypts the users’ data.
The email states:
“Owing to changes of Tax laws of the United States of America of June 21, 2017 (Federal tax regulations ref. no. 13-444876476) any business activity of resident or the non-resident citizens of the United States abroad, in particular the belonging of offshore companies, equity participation and offshore capitals, is transferred under the special control of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
It then states that the FBI “requires” that the recipient complete a questionnaire, embedded in a link infected with ransomware.
Apparently so many companies have become victims, that the IRS felt compelled to issue the alert.
Unfortunately, if employees have been warned about phishing emails, this one should have been caught. The grammar and punctuation are a clear give away.
The IRS has advised that anyone with a tax issue will not receive an email from the IRS and the IRS will not receive an email from the IRS about a tax delinquency.
This warning reiterates how important employee education and awareness is of phishing schemes for employees.