The IRS recently announced cyber criminals were able to steal information from over 100,000 Americans’ tax returns. The thieves created phony returns and stole refunds by completing a multiple-factor authentication process including private data and non-identity information (e.g. social websites). As information-based crimes are on the rise, it is important to understand where criminals are retrieving this information. Below are five probable ways criminals obtained sensitive information:

  1. Purchasing personally identifiable information on the Dark Web
  2. Phishing attacks where criminals obtain information by tricking you into providing your information to a site that looks like a trusted company, but the URL is slightly different
  3. Obtaining information through your social networking sites and cookies to easily answer security questions on other websites
  4. Hacking and data breaches
  5. Inside sources (e.g. employees)

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Source: ABC News


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