Missoula CPA Discusses IRS Hacking [YouTube]
The IRS reports that sophisticated cyber-criminals have hacked the accounts of over 100,000 U.S. taxpayers through the 'Get Transcript' system.
Local CPA Walt Kero told KGVO News that the theft of personal information is purely mercenary, and that the stolen information is being sold, most probably by Russian hackers, to the highest bidder.
"That stolen information is going to be used in a variety of ways to either rip you off, appropriate your assets, or file a phony tax return in your name and collect the refunds," Kero said. "The information in the transcript system is basically all about your income and other personal information that can be sold."
Kero said the IRS will be contacting the individuals whose accounts have been hacked.
"The IRS should, I won't say they will absolutely, but they should be contacting everyone whose information has been hacked, by mail, and informing them about what to do. In the private sector when Home Depot and Target were hacked, they offered two years of identity protection to the victims, but I'm not sure the IRS will do that. Once you've been hacked, it's up to you to keep an eye out every day on your bank accounts, savings accounts, mortgage information and investments, and be personally proactive in protecting your identity."
Kero said the local IRS office, even though it is severely understaffed with just one person at this time, will offer all the help it can. The office is located at 2681 Palmer Street, #2, or call 728-9127.