The Gately Report: Webroot on Tax Scams, 'Shields Up' Warning on Russian Hacks, Securonix Funding

Every organization in the United States is at risk from Russian cyber threats.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

February 17, 2022

11 Slides

Tax-filing season is approaching, and cybercriminals are gearing up with their latest tactics to steal money from individuals and SMBs.

The-Gately-Report-logo-300x200.jpgThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers to protect their personal and financial information, and watch out for IRS impersonation scams, along with other schemes that try to trick people out of their money.

Experts anticipate this year to be the most lucrative for cybercriminals, with new points of entry and seemingly simple transactions. Those include phishing scams with QR codes, notifications dubbed as easy payment methods, double and triple ransomware, and insider threats.

Tax-Filing Season Scams Lucrative Business

To learn more about what’s in store for this tax-filing season, we spoke with Grayson Milbourne, security threat intelligence director at Webroot, an OpenText company.

Channel Futures: Why is this tax season shaping up to be the most lucrative for cybercriminals?


Webroot’s Grayson Milbourne

Grayson Milbourne: It’s almost like every year seems to be the most lucrative and next best year for cybercriminals. The reality is every year we become more of a digital society where we do things online. We file our taxes online and we shop online, and the pandemic only accelerated this transformation. We forced ourselves into doing everything online, sort of the new normal way that we interact with e-commerce or with banking, or with tax season. So because of that, we see every year a really huge spike in phishing activity directly correlated to the tax filing season.

Everybody knows they have to do this task and there’s a lot of complexity to it. It’s not just filing it. There are a lot of other types of scams that associate themselves to preparation. A lot of people had stimulus payments — and there are taxes associated with those. There’s unemployment and a lot of scams associated with tax season around that. So it’s kind of the first feast of the year for scammers … and then we get the end-of-the-year holiday season and we see huge spikes then as well.

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from Webroot and more cybersecurity news.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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