FBI and IRS warning people of two new email scams

Phishing scams are a link sent out through an email, text message or social media platform. It...
Phishing scams are a link sent out through an email, text message or social media platform. It will appear to be legitimate and from a known source.(KOLN)
Published: Feb. 27, 2022 at 10:46 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The FBI has a new warning for businesses, that scammers are impersonating top-level executives using video conferencing apps to trick employees into transferring huge amounts of money.

The FBI didn’t name the specific platform for this scam, but did say there’s been a sharp increase with this type of fraud in the last two years.

Action 2 News is told it starts with an email about transferring money to pay a customer. The FBI said it comes with a spoofed link to a video call session. They’ll impersonate a top executive, like a CEO or president of a company. Some scammers even hijack video meeting accounts. The scammer will go so far as to claim the audio or video in the chat isn’t working, and they’ll use a photo of the CEO or use a deepfake audio and instruct employees to transfer funds.

There’s another email scam to watch for as we’re into tax season. The IRS warning tax preparers about the scam attempting to steal client information. The goal is to use the information to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

The IRS said fake emails use the IRS logo and subject lines like “Action Required: Your account has now been put on hold”. It asks people to click to update their account immediately or they will be barred from filing tax returns.

The IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said, “Scams continue to evolve, and this one is especially sinister since it threatens tax professional’s accounts. Tax professionals must remain vigilant in identifying and staying clear of these IRS impersonation emails.”

The IRS is tracking this scam and says tax preparers who get one of these emails should report it. It’s advice for every company and employee is to be on heightened alert for phishing emails and never click on links from an untrusted source.

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