04 03 2014

04 03 2014

Tax Season Highlights Cybersecurity Needs

A recent CNNMoney report reveals that tax season brings with it a bevy of cybercriminals who look to take advantage of small business owners. This is common, as cybercriminals typically use current events – like the royal wedding in 2011, the Super Bowl and more – to draw in victims.

“Not only do criminals exploit its anxiety and fear factor, but the tax season also gives them the opportunity to generate a variety of social engineering tricks,” Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security Response, said to CNNMoney.

It is typical for cybercriminals to make their messages to small business owners appear as if they are coming from the IRS. Unwitting owners, then, think they are receiving important information and open messages, leading to data breaches.

“We’re seeing about 100,000 IRS-themed email scams circulating every two weeks in the U.S.,” Alex Watson, director of security research at Websense Security Labs, told the source. “They started in late December and it’s going strong now.”

Small businesses are the ideal target for cybercriminals, because large companies typically have the working capital to protect themselves with sophisticated security measures, while many smaller organizations do not. Additionally, some small businesses may think they’re not on hackers’ radar because of their size, so they may opt to forego cyber security measures.

Small businesses often do not have pockets that are as deep as bigger corporations, but owners who wish to make themselves less vulnerable can seek a business loan from alternative lenders like National Funding, which provide greater ease of access and more flexible terms.

Most dangerous scams

CNNMoney reported that there are three cyberattacks that are especially dangerous: financial Trojans, tax themed phishing scams and IRS disguised ransomware. The former often has an attachment that looks like a spreadsheet or file, but when opened, the Trojan unleashes malware onto the device with which it is opened. Cyberattackers can then steal vital log in and bank account information. They usually include names of popular tax preparation programs like Turbotax, leading business owners to believe they’re legitimate.

Tax themed phishing scams, which are carried out on fraudulent websites or email messages, recently made the IRS’ annual list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. They use HTML files to steal personal data and company information, which is then sent to a server that hackers control.

IRS disguised ransomware involves a virus that takes control of a victim’s computer files and threatens to erase them unless they pay – hence its name. These threats typically are sent to victims in an email that appears to have important tax related information.

Safe and secure

One way small businesses can protect themselves against such attacks is to remember one simple thing: The IRS does not request personal or financial information via email. Keeping that in mind and making sure all passwords are strong can be key in keeping small business information safe.

“Be suspicious,” Haley said to CNNMoney. “Scammers are quite good at making emails and links look legitimate. Know that the email ‘from’ the IRS will never be from the IRS.”

Find Out How Much Funding You Qualify For

Fields marked with an * are required
By clicking this button I agree to all terms and conditions.

Terms & Conditions

General Acceptance

Any applications submitted electronically shall have the same force and effect as if the application bore an inked original signature(s). The above information, together with any accompanying financial statements, schedules, or other materials, is submitted for the purpose of obtaining credit and is warranted to be true, correct, and complete.


US Patriot Act:

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person and business that seeks a business loan. What this means for you: When you apply for a loan, we will ask for your business name, address, and Tax Identification Number. We will also ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.


For Loan/Merchant Services:

The Merchant and Owner(s)/Officer(s) identified in the application (individually, an “Applicant”) each represents, acknowledges and agrees that (1) all information and documents provided to National Funding, Inc. (“NF”) including credit card processor statements are true, accurate and complete, (2) Applicant will immediately notify NF of any change in such information or financial condition, (3) Applicant authorizes NF to disclose all information and documents that NF may obtain including credit reports to other persons or entities (collectively, “Assignees”) that may be involved with or acquire commercial loans having daily repayment features and/or Merchant Cash Advance transactions, including without limitation the application therefor (collectively, “Transactions”) and each Assignee is authorized to use such information and documents, and share such information and documents with other Assignees, in connection with potential Transactions, (4) each Assignee will rely upon the accuracy and completeness of such information and documents, (5) NF, Assignees, and each of their representatives, successors, assigns and designees (collectively, “Recipients”) are authorized to request and receive any investigative reports, credit reports, statements from creditors or financial institutions, verification of information, or any other information that a Recipient deems necessary, (6) Applicant waives and releases any claims against Recipients and any information-providers arising from any act or omission relating to the requesting, receiving or release of information, and (7) each Owner/Officer represents that he or she is authorized to sign this form on behalf of Merchant.(8) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (9) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.


For Equipment Services:

I hereby certify: (1) the information provided is true and correct, (2) you are hereby authorized to investigate all bank, credit, and trade references, and said references are hereby authorized to release any requested information to you or your nominee, (3) such authorization shall extend to obtaining personal credit profile in considering this application and subsequently for the purposes of update, renewal or extension of such credit or additional credit and for reviewing or collecting the resulting account, (4) this information may be transmitted by us to you and by you to underwriter(s) for the purpose of granting me credit, either electronically or manually, and that by submitting this application, I take full responsibility for transmission thereof, (5) I am over 18 years of age, (6) I acknowledge my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (7) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (8) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.


Text Messaging:

By providing my wireless phone number to National Funding, Inc., I agree and acknowledge that National Funding, Inc. may send text and multimedia messages to my wireless phone number for any purpose. I agree that these text or multimedia messages may be regarding the products and/or services that I have previously purchased and products and/or services that National Funding, Inc. may market to me. I acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive text or multimedia messages from National Funding, Inc to my wireless phone number.

The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into the binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. If for any reason your application for business credit is denied, you have the right to a written statement of the specific reasons for the denial. To obtain the statement, please write to National Funding Inc., 9820 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, California 92121. Funding amount and credit approval is subject to a full credit profile review.