If you have recently received an e-mail from what you thought was the Internal Revenue Service with a warning that may have said "Last Notice”, do not open. The government does not send out any notifications via e-mail and they certainly don’t have your e-mail address.
This new scam is coming from one of the largest and most sophisticated criminal hackers on the internet, “Avalanche”. They may send you an e-mail inquiry about your tax payments that you made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. You might even think that maybe you made a mistake and that you should check this out. You could owe the IRS money!
Now we have all become a little more computer savvy and don’t open e-mails from people we don’t know. However, this new scam has changed its tactics and may catch you off guard. Attached to the notice from the IRS is a “malware” known as the “Zeus Banking Trojan”. In just a few minutes, this virus will get into your computer and has the ability to launch thousands of attacks all at once. Its main goal is to access all of your user names and passwords to your bank accounts and investment accounts.
ACTION ITEM: My advice to everyone including businesses is to not open e-mail that you are not expecting and please don’t call the number at the bottom of the e-mail. You may get directed to the scammer’s line!
And remember…the IRS does not send e-mail!
Thomas F. Scanlon, CPA, CFP®