Hackers may be using your tax info in online scams — here's how to protect yourself

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About 58,000 fraudulent unemployment claims were discovered in Massachusetts, and actual unemployed people are the one who pay the biggest price.
About 58,000 fraudulent unemployment claims were discovered in Massachusetts, and actual unemployed people are the one who pay the biggest price.

When it comes to online scams, nothing is sacred. Malicious actors will take advantage of the elderly, target people trying to make positive change in the world, and even capitalize on others’ misfortune. It seems like a new scheme is hatched every day. The latest on our radar is the massive unemployment check fraud committed in Massachusetts following an uptick in pandemic-related job loss.

The criminal activity was first detected by the Massachusetts unemployment systems as part of a nationwide scam back in May, according to Massachusetts Live. As of July, the count is 58,000 fraudulent claims and a total of $158 million in nearly-stolen money, according to an investigation conducted by Ernst & Young.

Hackers infiltrate your computer using via viruses, malware, and phishing schemes. Once they’re in, they wreak havoc—including finding your social security number and tax I.D. from your freshly filed taxes — so the smartest thing you can do is keep them out. Sophisticated antivirus software is your first line of defense.

Arm yourself against identity theft and online scams with rock-solid online security software like System Mechanic

System Mechanic is a comprehensive package. It addresses and fixes 30,000 different PC problems, from performing system-wide scans for junk and obsolete files to cleaning out hazardous system-clogging clutter that accumulates through everyday use. It also speeds up your PC’s performance by defragmenting your hard drive and healing chronically unstable internet connections. 

In short, System Mechanic transforms your PC into a lean, mean, and totally clean machine. The software monitors incoming information constantly, removes weak points, and doesn’t allow a single opening for hackers. 

Want to dip your toe in the water before you dive in? Right now, System Mechanic is completely free for 30 days. After that, you pay just $4.99 a month for ultimate peace of mind.

Shop it: System Mechanic, free for 30 days then $4.99 a month, subscriptions.yahoo.com

Why should U.S. taxpayers be horrified by unemployment fraud?

System Mechanic is powerful online security software. (Photo: Iolo Technologies)
System Mechanic is powerful online security software. (Photo: Iolo Technologies)

This recent bust should serve as a rude awakening to citizens across the U.S., because in order for online fraudsters to file false unemployment claims, they need access to taxpayers’ most sensitive information. In other words, hackers steal your identity, then they file false claims using your name and social security number or tax I.D.

If you’ve been a victim, you find out the hard way. “People will apply for unemployment and find out that someone has already applied in their name and is receiving unemployment from that,” said cybersecurity expert and Cyberscout founder Adam Levin to Yahoo Life. As the real person filing the real claim, you might be denied—and now you have to cut through red tape to receive your legitimate payments. 

Levin added that it’s no coincidence the phenomenon coincides with the extended 2020 tax filing deadline. “There is always an enormous amount of identity theft related to tax season,” he said. “And keep in mind that if you have enough information to file a false unemployment claim or a fake tax return, you have enough information to commit full-on identity theft against a victim.”

Shop it: System Mechanic, free for 30 days then $4.99 a month, subscriptions.yahoo.com

A more comprehensive idea of what you get with System Mechanic 

System Mechanic restores speed, power and stability to your PC. (Photo: Iolo Technologies)
System Mechanic restores speed, power and stability to your PC. (Photo: Iolo Technologies)

Want to know exactly what System Mechanic is doing under the hood of your PC? First of all, it tidies it up from the inside out. The software cleans up over 50 different types of junk files and regains thousands of megabytes of hard disk space.

It also troubleshoots. System Mechanic repairs broken internet connections and stops random crashes, restarts, and more. It finds and automatically fixes broken or corrupted Windows shortcut icons that are often at the root of “mystery” problems in an otherwise stable PC.

To ensure privacy, System Mechanic permanently removes deleted data, like internet history and cache. And keeps your computer speedy, running a comprehensive scan of over 200 critical tests in just a few minutes, using more than 30 tools. 

This kind of performance removes any vulnerabilities from the equation, so you can know that your personal identity and that of everyone in your household, including your kids (yes, kids’ identities can be stolen), is always safe and secure and never subject to the prying eyes of the worst kinds of online criminals. 

System Mechanic provides some of the most valuable service you’ll ever get for the price of a fancy cup of coffee.

Shop it: System Mechanic, free for 30 days then $4.99 a month, subscriptions.yahoo.com

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