Skip to main content

IT News

Be suspicious of electronic communications during tax season as scammers attack

Information Technology Services urges all WVU faculty, staff and students to treat any electronic communication about taxes with extreme caution and forward suspicious-looking emails to DefendYourData@mail.wvu.edu for review. Hackers historically ramp up their attempts to steal personally identifiable information during tax season, and this year is no exception.

The Internal Revenue Service will not contact you by telephone or email. If you receive a written communication via the U.S. Postal Service, it DOES warrant your attention.

For example, people who used an IRS website that was hacked last year may now be receiving mail offering free credit protection. That breach was bigger than first believed, and the IRS acknowledged this week that more than 700,000 Social Security numbers and other sensitive information may have been stolen.

You can read more about that data compromise here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/irs-identity-theft-online-hackers-social-security-number-get-transcript/

No WVU systems were involved in this incident; it was an IRS website.

WVU employees should never save copies of their tax returns, W-2s and other tax-related documents containing personally identifiable information on University-owned computers. Doing so could put your individual information at risk.

For more tips about information security, visit DefendYourData.wvu.edu.