The Ohio Department of Taxation is advising citizens to be alert to suspicious email communications that appear to be from the department.
The DOT will not:
• Send emails with links directing you to download and install software.
• Request detailed personal information through email.
• Send email requesting you to respond by providing your user ID, password, or financial information such as details of accounts or credit cards.
If you receive a suspicious email from someone claiming to represent the Ohio Department of Taxation, take these steps to protect yourself:
• Do not reply.
• Do not open any attachments, as they could infect your computer.
• Do not click on any links. If you have clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website (www.ftc.gov) and review the commission’s information on identity theft.
• Forward the suspicious email to email@example.com for investigation, then be sure to delete the email.
How to spot a malicious email:
• Look for email addresses with domain names that do not appear to be associated with the organization the email is supposed to be from.
Example: Official Department of Taxation communications will not be issued from a public domain email account such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
• Look for links in the email that do not match the Web address that you intend to visit.
Example: If you hover your mouse cursor over a link in an email, the Web address (or URL) that is displayed should match the link referenced in the email message.
• Beware of emails that threaten loss of service if you do not respond by a certain date.
Example: “Your account will not be valid after June 1 if you do not follow the instructions in this email.”
• Beware of emails that ask you to supply confidential information
Example: Account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.
• Beware of emails that ask you to install software by clicking on a link the email message.