Cybercriminals have already created over 50 fake websites to steal the identities and personal information of US parents set to receive their first child tax credit payment this month.
According to a new report from cybersecurity firm Domain Tools, fraudsters saw an immediate opportunity when US President Joe Biden signed a US rescue program in March. As part of the plan, parents with children under the age of 5 will receive a check for $ 3,600 and parents with children between the ages of 6 and 17 will receive $ 3,000.
Unknown to many parents, these funds automatically arrive in your account when they are sent by the IRS, and unlike last year’s stimulus check, you don’t have to manually enroll in the program. However, this did not stop struggling parents from trying to enroll in the program online, and this provided a great opportunity for scammers.
The fake sites discovered by DomainTools mimic the look and feel of legitimate government websites with catchy names such as “americanreliefplan.com” and “americanreliefcarefunds.com”. Please note that the “.gov” TLD is reserved exclusively for government websites, so the US government will never use the top-level domain (TLD) “.com”.
Collection of personal information
As with many phishing scams, many of these fake websites require parents interested in enrolling in a U.S. rescue program to provide their name, phone number, address, and mother’s maiden name. The application form is included. In fact, some sites have asked applicants to upload a photo of their ID.
With this personal information at hand, the cybercriminals behind this scam could steal an ID, use the victim’s stolen ID to apply for a loan or credit card, or file a fraudulent tax return. You can submit. Recovery from theft of personal information can cost years and thousands of dollars, so users need to be especially careful before and after the tax season, when similar fraud occurs each year.
DomainTools eventually tracked 41 fake websites back to a Nigerian web developer named Golden Waves. However, Sun When I contacted the company, it said that the company’s web hosting account had been compromised and that it was working with a web hosting provider to remove all malicious sites.
Chad Anderson, senior security researcher at DomainTools, provides further insight into this latest scam, saying:
“Credential harvesting campaigns continue to be a useful way for attackers to obtain legitimate legal documents, resell them, or use them for more advanced operations. Most when looking for federal assistance. Those in need are not always fully aware of how that aid is distributed. Under the US Rescue Planning Act, money was sent directly from the IRS, but nevertheless. Unsuspecting victims may lead to uploading their credentials to one of these sites. “
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Warning-These tax credit scam websites can steal your identity
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