With tax day looming, cyber criminals have beaten the tax filing deadline by committing tax refund fraud.
2014 was a record year for breaches (see prior post), w/ breaches up 46% over 2013. And the trend continues in 2015, with Anthem, Premera and other breaches. The glut of stolen information is being used by criminals to create phony tax returns, which are then filed with the IRS and state tax authorities in order to gain refunds. Last year, 86% of taxpayers filed online, and this year nineteen states have recently reported seeing a spike in electronic tax filing fraud cases (see here & here).
According to KrebsOnSecurity, states are proving easier to deceive than the IRS (see here). According to one example provided by KrebsOnSecurity (see here), 50% of phony tax returns at the state level are successful, yielding an average of $1,600 per return.
- File your tax return early
- Protect your social security number (and other personal information)
- Verify that key information, such as bank account information, has not been changed
- Check & protect your credit
For companies and other organizations, good IT security and Cyber Risk Insurance are critical. One IT consultant, in addition to technology solutions, suggests common sense approaches to password protection:
- Change periodically
- Require sophisticated passwords
- Do not post passwords in workspaces or on monitors
- Teach awareness
Cyber Risk Insurance is an inexpensive form of financial protection for all types of organizations, and all sizes. Policy forms vary, but can be customized to provide a range of protections including the cost of breaches, forensics, business interruption, crisis management and PCI assessments.
Tennant Risk Services is a specialty wholesale broker and underwriting manager, and delivers expertise, markets and exemplary services to our retail insurance agent clients in the placement of professional liability insurance (E&O, D&O, EPL, Cyber). We excel at hard to place accounts.
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