Kingston Police warn of scammers taking advantage of tax season

Photo by Brett Jordan.

Millions of people around the world are paying their taxes this time of year, and cybercriminals and scammers are hoping to get paid, too, Kingston Police noted in a media release.

“In this scam, they’re taking advantage of tax season by trying to trick you into opening an email and downloading a malicious PDF attachment. The email they send looks like a government form and includes a link to download the PDF attachment. The scammers even include helpful instructions for pasting the web page URL into your browser in case the link isn’t working,” police detailed.

According to the release, dated Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2024, clicking the link will redirect the user to a fake webpage and initiate a file download.

“Malware is installed on your computer once the file downloads. Remember, cybercriminals don’t only want your money—they also want your data! And they can use this malware to steal your user credentials and other personal data,” Kingston Police said.

Police provided the following tips to avoid falling victim to a tax scam:

  • The latest software versions for devices often contain security updates. Make sure that your devices are running the latest software updates as well as those that may be recommended by your organization’s IT team.
  • Follow your organization’s instructions for reporting any suspicious emails that you receive. Quickly reporting suspicious emails can help keep your organization safe.
  • Be skeptical of unsolicited emails from the government or other financial entities. Always double-check with the organization that sent the form if you have doubts about its authenticity.

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