Scammers are targeting taxpayers by sending TurboTax customers fake emails designed to steal people’s personal and account information, according to a Feb. 4 announcement by Intuit, the parent company of the do-it-yourself tax software.
Intuit said the email mimicks the company’s brand and tells recipients they need to confirm their accounts. Here’s what part of the email says, according to a screenshot on Intuit’s website.
“Some information on your account appears to be missing or incorrect! Please confirm your information promptly so you can continue to enjoy all the benefits of your TurboTax account. If you don’t confirm your information, we’ll limit what you can do with your TurboTax account.”
The email is a phishing attempt — phishing tricks people into handing over sensitive information to thieves, usually by imitating a trusted company — and it’s well-timed. Many people have already filed or are about to start the process of filing their taxes, which could motivate concerned customers to make sure their TurboTax accounts are up to date.
If you look closely, the email has hallmarks of a phishing scam: There are some typos, and when you hover over the “Sign in to TurboTax” button in the email, it’s clear the URL is not legitimate. Always be careful about clicking on any emails that ask you to share account or financial details. Doing so could cause you some serious headaches.
Depending on the information people share, the thieves can commit a variety of serious offenses, from credit card fraud to identity theft. Taxpayer identity theft is obviously a concern in this scenario, because giving a thief your tax-software credentials could allow them to file a fraudulent tax return and delay your refund. You can protect yourself from taxpayer identity theft by filing your tax return as soon as possible, before someone with your personal information beats you to it.
Intuit is asking that anyone who receives these emails not click on any links or open attachments, send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete the email. As always, it’s important to monitor your credit for signs of identity theft, especially after encountering something suspicious. (You can do so by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.)
More on Identity Theft:
- Identity Theft: What You Need to Know
- How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
- 3 Dumb Things You Can Do With Email