Blog   Tagged ‘National Cyber Security Alliance’

Tis’ the Season for Tax Fraud

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IRS tax refund scam tips

It’s tax time. As you prepare your taxes or eagerly await any refunds, it’s also time to be aware of tax scams. These scams include phishing emails, texts or phone calls that may warn of a delay with your return, promise a bigger refund or offer you a “helpful downloadable document.” These scams are designed to steal your refund, bank account information or identity by compelling you to provide your private information to the scammer.

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The IRS estimates that it paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent refunds as a result of identity theft last year. This year, in light of recent data breaches, individuals are urged to be especially careful. New scams offer credit monitoring services due to a breach or claim to be from popular tax software providers. The IRS has provided a list of The Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2015 to help keep us up to date on the latest scams.

In addition, be particularly aware of common tax season phishing emails like these:

  • You’re owed a refund and need to forward your bank account information for the refund deposit. The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email or social media to request personal or financial information. If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, send it to phishing@irs.gov.
  • Exciting offers or refunds for participating in an “IRS Survey.” This fake survey is actually used to acquire private and confidential information that is used to steal your identity.
  • Threats of fines or jail time for not making an immediate payment, or responding to the email. If you receive an intimidating email like this and even believe you might owe on taxes, contact your local IRS office and report the threatening email.
  • Documents or tools for tax preparation (e.g. “new changes in the tax law,” a tax calculator, etc.). Those “helpful” documents mentioned earlier may, in fact, be malicious files intended to infect your computer. Remember not all unsolicited email is legitimate. If you need current tax information, go to the IRS website or consult with a tax professional.

Scams don’t stop with phishing emails. Here are some helpful tips if you get calls or texts from someone pretending to be from the IRS:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at gov.
  • If phone scammers target you, also contact the Federal Trade Commission. Use their FTC Complaint Assistantto report the scam, and include “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

Remember, identity theft doesn’t stop at tax season so exercise your “spidey sense” with any email, unsolicited text or call asking for your personal information.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Flores serves as senior vice president and Chief Information Security Officer, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and has 16 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).



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Learn how to prevent identity theft on Data Privacy Day

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Data Privacy Day

A whopping 9 out of 10 adults feel they have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.* With tools at your fingertips allowing you to instantly share and receive online, your private information flows through the internet often without you giving it a second thought. Instead of sending you off with no electronics to rough it in the mountains just so you can protect your privacy, these stats should inspire you to expand your identity theft know-how and step up your privacy game.

I’d like to invite you to join UMB in participating in Data Privacy Day 2015.  Be one of the 6 in 10 Americans who are ready to do more to protect their personal information online.* Here are a few ways you can reduce your digital footprint, protect your privacy and prevent identity theft:

  • Think before you give out your Social Security number, first pet or mother’s maiden name. Does the business or website really need it? Could you use another piece of information?
  • Read the Privacy Policy. You may be surprised where your favorite online retailer or social media site shares your information. Here is UMB’s Privacy Statement.
  • Know how to update your privacy settings. Use these simple instructions on how to update privacy settings on Facebook, Pandora, email, internet browsers, mobile devices and more.
  • Review your bank and credit card statements regularly for unauthorized transactions. Use custom mobile banking alerts to monitor your accounts.
  • Check your credit reports. Every 12 months, you can get a free copy of your three reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Share with care. Consider the future and not just the moment with anything you post or share online. Once the information is in cyberspace it could be seen, stolen and used.

Celebrated on January 28, Data Privacy Day is an international effort centered on bringing attention to the importance of privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust. Find out more about Data Privacy Day from the National Cyber Security Alliance.

 

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*Source: http://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/privacy-tips-for-2015-infographic

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Flores serves as senior vice president and Chief Information Security Officer, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and has 16 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).



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Join the movement: National Cyber Security Awareness Month

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In a world where our thirst for computers, smartphones, gadgets and Wi-Fi seems to have no limits, cyber security has become more important than ever. At home, at work and at school, our growing dependence on technology, coupled with increasing threats to our online safety and privacy, demands greater security in our online world.

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At UMB, we’re proud to take strides towards a safer, more secure cyberspace. In doing so, UMB has joined the National Cyber Security Alliance, Anti-Phishing Working Group and Department of Homeland Security in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October. The Stop.Think.Connect. campaign was launched in 2010 as a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. Consider it a neighborhood watch for your computer. However, just like security in your neighborhood, this campaign can only be successful when people get involved.

Through this national campaign, UMB has teamed with public and private sector resources as well as the U.S. federal government to help improve cyber security. According to the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign, they strive to:

  • Increase and reinforce awareness of cyber security, including associated risks and threats, and provide solutions for increasing cyber security.
  • Communicate approaches and strategies for the public to keep themselves, their families and their communities safer online.
  • Engage the public, the private sector, and state and local governments in our nation’s effort to improve cyber security.

Cyber security is a shared responsibility. I invite you to join UMB in the cyber security movement during National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Do your part by visiting umb.com and the Stop.Think.Connect. resource page to learn more about how to protect yourself online and help make cyberspace a safer place for all cyber citizens.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Flores serves as senior vice president and Chief Information Security Officer, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and has 16 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).



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