As income tax e-filing picks up pace due to last minute rush, are busy using phishing e-mails and fake ads to steal confidential financial data of users, cyber security firm McAfee said on Sunday.
Cyber criminals try to take advantage of the rush during the last days of e-filing as tax payers try to meet the deadline set by the I-T department.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the administrative authority of the Income Tax department, has recently extended the deadline for filing returns, both manual and electronic, to August 5.
"With e-filing of tax becoming mainstream, there are exponentially more opportunities for private information to be compromised," McAfee said in a release.
Cyber criminals use phishing scams where an e-mail is sent to a number of people, saying income tax refund is available, and once it is clicked, the user is directed to a website similar to the one owned by Income tax department, it said.
Consumers are then asked to disclose personal financial details, which help scammers empty your credit card or bank account, McAfee added.
Besides, such criminals could also leverage fake tax filing ads that claim to help you to file taxes and direct you to fraudulent websites that collect your financial data, it said.
McAfee asked people filing tax returns online not to open any suspicious websites or emails from an untrustworthy source.
It also added that the Income Tax department does not request personal information such as PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts through e-mails.
In a latest data released by the Central Processing Centre (CPC) of the I-T department based in Bangalore, a total of 1,03,21,775 e-returns were filed by taxpayers till July 31 this year against the over 2 crore e-filing numbers filed during the last year.