October 26, 2022
In a blog post, FortiGuard researchers detailed two recent tax season scams and pleas to send money to help Ukrainian refugees. (Photo by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images)

Researchers on Wednesday reported on phishing emails tied to current events, especially the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the upcoming tax season deadline next month.

In a blog post, FortiGuard researchers detailed two recent tax season scams and pleas to send money to help Ukrainian refugees.

The first tax scam was a malicious email pretending to originate from the IRS that contains a maliciously crafted Microsoft Excel file to deliver Emotet malware. The second was a phishing scam that asks a recipient to send personally identifiable information (PII) via written correspondence to a fax number. The fund raising emails for the refugees typically try to get the victims to do a wire transfer or Venmo money.

Threat actors continue to target victims through exploitative and manipulative messaging, whether it’s related to tax season, humanitarian aid in Ukraine, or the need for health supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Chris Olson, co-founder and CEO of The Media Trust.

“Businesses and consumers should recognize that phishing threats don’t just propagate by email: they are also delivered through web and mobile apps with the help of targeted content features,” Olson said. “As companies like Microsoft crack down on malicious Excel documents and PDFs, we expect that attackers will continue to…

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