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Beware Of IRS/ FBI Ransomware Scam

Sep 26, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a warning to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.

The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the FBI and encourages recipients to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead of the FBI questionaire, the link downloads a certain type of malware (ransomware) that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen encourages individuals to “stay vigilant against email scams that try to impersonate the IRS and other agencies.” The IRS does not use email, text messages, or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.

If you are the victim of a ransomware attempt or attack, please report it to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center ( If the scam is IRS-themed also report it to [email protected].