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Tech Tip of the Week: Phishing

From the IT Group:

Yippee! You just received an e-mail sent to “Tax Refund” from the Internal Revenue Service – United States Department of Treasury. You’ve been waiting for it and here it is. You have the opportunity to get your tax refund applied directly to your Visa or MasterCard. The message tells you to complete the following information:

Enter your Social Security Number and a valid credit card number you want your refund applied to-(be sure to read the “Privacy Notice” regarding the request for the personal information). Be sure your Social Security Number is as shown on your tax form.

Credit/Debit Card number –
Card number
Expiration date
CVV code

Personal information –
Zip code
Telephone number
Email address

All you have to do now is click “Submit” and you are all set. You are surprised how easy that was! Or are you? Everything looks legitimate, but is it really? Well, if you clicked that “Submit” button, you’ve just been phished! Even though it looks like official correspondence from the IRS, here is how you can tell that it wasn’t.

  • The IRS does not send out e-mail to anyone requesting that you supply any private or financial information via e-mail. They want you to call or write them.
  • The e-mail isn’t addressed to you. It just says “Tax Refund.” There is no information shown that indicates that the sender knows who you are.
  • The “CVV” code is only needed to validate the use of the card for purchases – not deposits.

Phishing can be difficult to detect, but there are signs to look for. Our friends at Sonic have developed a great tool to help you test your knowledge. Visit them at As always, if you ever receive something you aren’t quite sure about, feel free to contact the HelpDesk at 358-2532, e-mail or stop by our office on the 2nd floor of Elliot Hall.

Contact Marketing & Communications

Sarah Kossayda
Director of Marketing
☎ 603-358-2119