Security Awareness During Tax Season

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April 13, 2016

TO: UCSB Faculty & Staff
FR: Matthew Hall, Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer
RE: Security Awareness During Tax Season

As the deadline for filing income tax returns approaches, as part of our efforts to make faculty and staff aware of cyber security, we would like to remind you that there has been a rise in cyber-attacks and fraud attempts centered around tax filing. There have been several reports of UCSB faculty and staff who experienced duplicate filing issues. We do not believe that any campus systems have been compromised, but across the country there have been hundreds of thousands of social security numbers and associated personal information accessed by criminal organizations in tax fraud in recent years, including at universities.

The IRS offers information and advice about identity theft on its website: IRS.GOV Type in this search phrase on the IRS.GOV website for more information on how to prevent tax related fraud: "Taxpayer guide to identity theft."

The IRS emphasizes this critical tip during tax season:

"The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information." If you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to be the IRS or directing, you to an IRS site:

  • Do not reply to the message.
  • Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
  • Do not click on any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious e-mail or phishing website and entered confidential information, visit the IRS website and enter the search term 'identity theft' for more information and resources to help.”

If you encounter issues with tax filing, or if you have any reason to have concerns about identity theft, please report this to Matt Hall, Jim Corkill, or Sam Horowitz at your earliest moment of suspicion.

Thank you.

Matthew Hall
Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer
Cyber-Risk Responsible Executive
4101 SAASB University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3020