The Internal Revenue Service has warned people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.
The IRS said the scam tries to entice users to select a “click here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers." IRS also reminds people that it does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.
The IRS recommends that "victims should not pay a ransom. Paying it further encourages the criminals, and frequently the scammers won’t provide the decryption key even after a ransom is paid.