The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warned about a potential phishing attack campaign rising to steal American citizens’ financial data and personal information. A sharp increase in phishing attacks was noted in the last few weeks, with thousands of fraudulent domains and websites linked to the threat actors behind the campaigns.
The campaign uses MMS/SMS/text scams, often called as smishing where the perpetrators pretend to be from reputed companies, to induce the victims into revealing personal information, such as bank details, passwords, and credit card numbers.
IRS scammers’ phishing campaign
The IRS identified and reported thousands of domains associated with campaigns where the threat actor sent text messages to US taxpayers, leading them to a phishing landing page explicitly designed to garner sensitive information. The data collected included American citizens’ personal and financial details, their unpaid bills, bank account details, and the recent law enforcement actions against them.
The phishing pages were designed to mimic the official website and government authorities in the US and were spoofed to such an extent that it appeared like something the targets were more likely to trust. One of the leading websites in the campaigns was the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Moreover, the campaigns were linked to phishing pages where the threat actors impersonated banking websites and asked the victims to verify the details and purchase or unlock frozen credit cards. Since the website looked authentic and had all the original elements, the customers were fooled into revealing sensitive information about their financial details.
According to sources, in this campaign, the hackers are stealing every piece of information they can find, unlike the usual phishing campaigns where cybercriminals try to steal payment details to extort money from victims. In these campaigns, they are collecting an extensive volume of data about American citizens. Another reason to run such campaigns could be to sell the information to other groups and cybercriminals that can be used to launch cyber espionage on Americans.
Since the hackers behind the campaign are creating a “perfect trap” to fool victims, there are high chances for anyone to fall prey to these scams. However, if these phishing attacks target one, it is essential to report the incident to the IRS.