According to the IRS, on Tuesday, hackers attempted to breach their computer systems in an attempt to file fraudulent tax returns. The thieves were attempting to gain access to E-File pin numbers which are used by some people to file their tax returns electronically. The IRS stated on Tuesday that approximately 464,000 social security numbers were accessed and nearly 100,000 of those were used to acquire E-file pin numbers.
The hackers apparently acquired personal tax payer data that was stolen from other sources to assist them in obtaining & generating the E-file pin numbers. The IRS is also reporting that no personal data was compromised or released in the attack. Tax payers who’s social security numbers may have been involved in the breach will be sent notifications by mail. The agency also noted that they are protecting the affected accounts by marking them to “protect against tax-related identity theft”. This is especially unnerving considering the IRS suffered an extensive data breach in 2015 in which over 300,000 taxpayers information was stolen, used to file fraudulent tax returns and obtain over $50 million federal funds.
If the IRS isn’t going to do something to protect your sensitive data, isn’t it time you took matters into your own hands. There’s no way you can protect yourself against a major corporate data breach like this one. Individuals who are notified that their information has been part of a data breach are 6 times more likely to have been a victim of identity theft in the past year.
This means that before you are even told that your social security number, credit card number or other personal information has been part of a data breach, the criminals have likely used your information fraudulently, without you ever even knowing. By this time, the damage has been done.
Start taking your identity protection seriously. IdentityGuard.com provides unmatched credit & identity monitoring, so you know if your information has been breached before the IRS or retail store gets around to telling you. Sign up today from StopIdentityFraud.org and get 30 days free protection and save $3.00/month off the homepage price.