Approximately 1 in 18 Americans have their identities stolen each year. Among the many identity theft scams is an emerging hoax in which cybercriminals obtain remote control of computer systems to hack into sensitive employee information to steal identities. Thieves will then use a stolen social security number to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. Criminals may also use stolen employer identification numbers to create false Forms W-2 to support refund schemes. This threat is particularly relevant to office settings, so be sure that you and your employees are using proper precautions at work to avoid being victimized.
Scammers use a variety of methods to enter computer systems, often through the use of malicious software, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, adware, spyware and ransomware. This threatening software has the potential to not only impact you, but your employees and business clients as well.
To protect yourself and your office from malicious software, all of your employees should have anti-virus software installed and maintained on their computer at all times. When selecting an anti-virus program, be sure to only install it from sources you trust. You may also want to consider placing certain IT restrictions on employees regarding what types of software they can install.
You’ll want to review any software that your employees use to remotely access your network and that your IT vendor uses to support your systems and remotely troubleshoot technical problems. Remote access software is a potential target for scammers to gain entry and take control of a device.