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Phishing Season: Don’t Take the Bait

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It’s phishing season. No, not the lazy-afternoon-on-the-lakeshore type of fishing. We’re talking about email phishing, the kind where scammers send you a very real-looking – but very fake – email and try to lure your personal information.

We’re seeing a lot of that now, especially during tax season, as fraudsters brazenly use the Intuit and TurboTax brands in an attempt to steal your identity, get your personal information, and file fake tax returns in your name.

Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) is doing its best to stop these phishers and protect its customers. When one of these scams involves its products, the company posts an alert at security.intuit.com to help people separate the fact from faked. The site includes advice on how to protect your identity and your computer from criminals.

Intuit also has a series of tips that can help you avoid taking the bait in a suspicious email. Scammers are very clever. They copy logos, language and images from legitimate websites to create emails that look authentic. But they often leave telltale clues that can tip you off to their true motives.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Check the sender’s email address. Do you recognize it? If yes, still be cautious before clicking a link. If no, do not click any links.
  • Be suspicious of attachments. Are there any? Don’t click on attachments that end with .exe, .bat, .com, .vbs, .reg, .msi, .pif, .pl, or .php. These are executable files that could launch a virus or give an outsider access to your computer. Even if the file does not contain one of the above mentioned extensions, be cautious about opening it. Contact the sender to verify its contents.
  • Protect your identity. Does the email request personal information? If so, do not reply.
  • Check the spelling. Does the email contain grammatical errors? If so, be suspicious.
  • Let’s get personal. If you have a relationship with the company, do they address you by name? If not, they may not know you.
  • Check any links. Mouse over a link, but don’t click it, and check the URL. Does it look legitimate or does it look like it will take you to a different website?

And what if you get a suspicious email that looks like it could be from Intuit? Forward it to spoof@intuit.com. Do not click on a link or attachment. You can protect yourself, and others from being lured. Information is power, and by working together to identify and alert other customers about phishing scams, the safer everyone will be.

About Intuit Inc.

Intuit Inc. creates business and financial management solutions that simplify the business of life for small businesses, consumers and accounting professionals.

Its flagship products and services include QuickBooks(R), Quicken(R) and TurboTax(R), which make it easier to manage small businesses and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. Mint.com provides a fresh, easy and intelligent way for people to manage their money, while Demandforce(R) offers marketing and communication tools for small businesses. ProSeries(R) and Lacerte(R) are Intuit’s leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants.

Founded in 1983, Intuit had revenue of $4.5 billion in its fiscal year 2014. The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.

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