Turbo Tax is a popular online tax preparation software program produced by Intuit that will allow you to prepare and file your income tax returns easily and efficiently online.  As always, if something is popular with the public, it is popular with scammers who attempt to piggyback on the popularity of Turbo Tax and the trust people have in the company to make Turbo Tax the basis for a variety of scams, many of which I have reported to you about over the years.  These scams include phishing scams that attempt to lure you into providing your log in information to the scammers who then use it to make you a victim of income tax identity theft.  A more recent scam that is turning up involves people attempting to save some money by purchasing pirated versions of Turbo Tax software at greatly reduced prices.  The scam often starts when people do a Google Chrome or other online search for Turbo Tax software for purchase that turns up websites offering Turbo Tax software at huge savings.  Unfortunately, merely because a website has a high position in an online search does not mean that it is a legitimate website.  All it means is that whoever created the website was skilled in the algorithms used by Google Chrome and other search engines to get their website listed prominently.  Many of these pirated  versions of  Turbo Tax software come filled with a variety of malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

An easy and ethical way to avoid this problem is to avoid pirated software.  The risk of it being filled with malware is far too great.  Additionally, when buying software, you should limit the places you purchase the software to sources that you can trust, which in the case of Turbo Tax would be to buy it directly from Intuit or other trusted sources such as Amazon.   You also should always should keep  your security software up to date with the latest security patches as soon as they are available.  However, even if you have the most up to date security software, it will not protect you from the latest malware.  Security software is always at least thirty days behind the newest “zero day” malware.

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