A phishing scam that uses fake FBI and Internal Revenue Service emblems in emails is circulating and attempting to entice users to download ransomware, the IRS warned this week.
Users are asked to click on a "here" link to download a bogus FBI questionnaire, but instead malware is installed that takes a user's computer data hostage, the IRS states.
"People with a tax issue won't get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call," says John Koskinen, IRS commissioner, in a statement. The IRS does not use email, text messages, or social media to discuss personal issues like tax refunds or tax bills, the agency noted.
The IRS advises customers to forgo paying the ransom because it will likely lead to more ransomware attacks and often does not lead to receipt of a decryption key.
Read more about the email-borne ransomware scam here.