The subject line says “Get Protected,” and the email talks about new features from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that can help taxpayers monitor their credit reports, and know about unauthorized use of their Social Security number. It even cites the IRS and the official-sounding “S.A.F.E Act 2015.” It sounds real, but it’s all made up according to Amy Herbert, Consumer Education Specialist with the Federal Trade Commission.
Ms Herbert says “It’s a phishing email to get you to click on a scammer’s link. If you do, a scammer can install malware— like viruses and spyware — on your computer. Or, the link might send you to a spoof site — a lookalike website set up by a scammer to trick you into entering your personal information.
Not sure if an email is really from the government? Here are a couple of clues. Did the email end up in your junk folder? Email providers use filters to help catch phishing scams and prevent spam from getting into your inbox. And when you hover your cursor over the link, is the web address really a trusted website? In this is a fake SSA email, when you hover over the URL you’re invited to click on, you see the link goes to an unrelated “.com” — instead of the Social Security Administration’s socialsecurity.gov or another “.gov” site.
If you get a questionable email, don’t click on any links, or open any attachments. You may wish to report it to the FTC by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org — and to the real organization impersonated in the email. You also can report it to your email provider.”
You should also consider black listing the sender to avoid receiving any additional emails from this unsavory source. And, don’t forget to delete the email ASAP.
If you’re unsure about an email that looks like it’s from the government, contact the agency directly. But find the contact info yourself.
If you want to discuss retirement planning or your business or personal tax planning and tax preparation concerns with an experienced tax professional, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.