For Sale On The Dark Web: Your Tax Refund And Social Security Number

Tyler Durden's picture

After death, and taxes, we can now add a third 'certainty' to life - identity theft.

Amid the business of tax season, it's not just accountants that are toiling hard to collect their fees. As Bloomberg reports, tax season is hog heaven for cybercriminals. The thought of all that personal data just sitting around, unmolested in tax documents, inspires a torrent of creepy scammer creativity.

The Krebs on Security blog provided a glimpse earlier this year of how our tax data is bought and sold, and what scammers charge other scammers for our data.

Founder Brian Krebs came across something he hadn’t seen before on the Dark Web: Bulk sales of W-2 forms.

A scammer had phished a tax preparation firm, Krebs discovered, and was offering for sale 3,600 Florida W-2s in this cyber netherworld which, while connected to the everyday web, requires special software or authorization to access.

Bloomberg notes that the fruits of all the successful phishing attempts wind up on the Dark Web.

These offers can look run of the mill, complete with star ratings for sellers. Here is a screenshot showing sellers and their illegal wares, such as W-2s, taken from IBM’s report:

The Dark Web has its own selling language. “Fullz” means complete information on an individual, including, according to the IBM report, “payment card information, address and contact details, and other additional pieces of personally identifiable information, such as Social Security number, a driver’s license number, and any other information sold along with the set.”


An individual’s tax data is far more valuable than their credit card data. Stolen credit card data might sell for $1 or be given away to establish credibility on the Dark Web, said Limor Kessem, executive security adviser of IBM Security. Credit card accounts can be closed or frozen, and thus have a short criminal-shelf life.

“Tax filing information is probably the most premium type of record criminals can buy on the underground,” said Kessem, who has been tracking this world for eight years.


“It goes for $40 or $50, and unlike credit cards, never expires. People can try and get loans in someone’s name, make fake IDs in people’s names, get credit.” And of course, the top target is filing a tax return in someone's name and getting the refund.

With phishing attacks on the rise, Bloomberg suggests a consumer’s best defense is a good offense. One of the simplest, when it comes to tax refund fraud: File your taxes early to beat would-be scammers to the punch.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
TeamDepends's picture

Someone else's SS# and some tiger penis and a guy could have a pretty good time.

Franklin Mint Chip's picture
Franklin Mint Chip (not verified) TeamDepends Apr 7, 2017 6:48 PM

OMG! Teh dark web is so kewl, you can buy anything there for some Bitcoin!

cheka's picture

stolen from your dealings with nyc.  td ameritrade breech for me.....some skype from brooklyn emptied out my credit union accounts after that.  cu replaced the got away with it

Richard Chesler's picture

What sort of financial idiot gets a tax refund?

icedoc's picture

You don't understand. They scammers file false information to get a refund ie. false deductions credits etc. so any withholding is refunded along with any phony credits claimed. Doesn't matter what might be true if you were filing. The whole claim they file is phony and thet get the money. IRS has you file under a claim ID number from then on. Happened to me two years in a row. Hasn't been too big of a deal for me anyway.


SweetDougisaTwat's picture

The creative kind.  You are such a child.

1980XLS's picture

My social security is worthless. I'll probably never see any of it.


Let 'em have it. It's worthless anyway.


Death to the moneychangers

Twee Surgeon's picture

Social Security cards are dangerous, every one needs a little chip in their hand, it will be safer and more secure.

The Tech is in place and in use. Idiots in Sweden are loving it, See you at the Supermarket for the Chip implant and Flu shot, for our convenience...


ACP's picture

You forgot powdered rhino horn.


Off-topic, but looks like little Kushie, omitted a few things on his security clearance forms:


Ah heyll no!

Will he get the BOOT like Flynn?

spanish inquisition's picture

He's a Democrat and tribe approved, he will be fine.

knukles's picture

That is the first fucking time I have ever seen a man wearing a vest over a sport coat with a button down and JFK shades with his hands in his pockets which is actually a good disguise, as nobody'd think of shooting the dorky looking guy.

TeamDepends's picture

The driver turns around and pops him (out of the blue!), but don't youse say nothin'.

Anon2017's picture

His wife is the boss's daughter. He will be fine.

Give_me_liberty_or's picture

I had a dream that I was sitting at a big long dining table in a fancy room.  Kushner told me he was descended from the Rothschilds and told me I had it all wrong.  He said they were doing a service to humanity by providing monetary stability, and it was a tough and dirty job but someone had to do it.  Then I woke up.

cossack55's picture

Anyone else catch his attorneys name?  Ring any bells?

mtanimal's picture

Jamie .... uhh....uhhh....

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture

"Kushie" is a forced meme produced by Media Matters. You work for George Soros.

Akzed's picture

From your link: "In a statement, [Kushner’s lawyer Jamie Gorelick]..."

Anteater's picture

H&R Block scans your tax information then sends it to India to be 'prepared', lol. The trick is Mother's maiden name. Never give that to anyone except your bank. If some company asks for it, give them her given name. A background check or credit check does not require your MMN. That, and keep a post office box for your credit cards and gym and cell phone account, that way a hacker can't can't crack your tax forms or SS without your government physical mailing address. Just do it.

Hunter S. Thompson's picture

You would be amazed at how much information you can get listening to a police scanner

FreeEarCandy's picture

Stealing my identity would be punishment enough for those that do. Come and get it!

Seasmoke's picture

I owe almost $20,000 or so they say. I will give money to anyone to take my SS #.

c2nnib2l's picture

I've got scammed on deep web more thatn just once. 

gdpetti's picture

Well, it's 'dark' for a reason, the intel agencies running it aren't known for their spectacular love of humanity... right? Add some bitcoins and you have another American success story.... based on theft... debt and destruction.. .the American Dream for every psycho, pedophile and criminal minded out there.

TeamDepends's picture

Word is you can pick up a used Mujahideen in reasonably good shape for a, ahem, bargain.

1stepcloser's picture

They can have my SSN if they agree to pay my taxes

Prisoners_dilemna's picture

Imagine you go to the store and only buy a gallon of milk. The cashier, who can't tell milk from mayonnaise says to you, "you just bought a pack of cigarettes and you owe a tax". The tax collector standing in line behind you says, "the cashier just alleged you bought a pack of cigarettes, now pay the tax you owe." What would you say to them?

Or imagine you rented a beach house for a week. The assessor comes by and says to you, "valuations of properties have increased locally and as you are the "home-owner" you need to pay $500 in taxes." The asshole tax-collecting neighbor leans over his fence and says, "he just alleged your the homeowner, now go to the clerks office and pay the tax you owe". What would you say to them?

Or imagine you work in the private sector. Your boss, whos never read the law and is just trying to feed his family, hands you a w-2 and submits to the IRS under penalty of perjury, a w-3, at the end of the year which, by using that form, as it's purpose is to report the payment of federal monies, thereby alleges you were a federal employee, he a federal employer, and because of this you are now liable for the excise income tax. Would you agree with his erroneous allegation?? What would you say to the tax collector???? Or to the person you work for??????

These folks didn't agree with the false allegations made about them, and learned how to say so in the proper form and manner;

If you're intelligent enough to read Zerohedge I believe you're intelligent enough to comprehend the info at the above link.

Death and taxes are certain, but today only a fool pays a tax he doesn't owe. It's not easy, but learning this info IS worth your time.


"If the taxpayers of this country ever discovered that we operate on 98% bluff,the entire system will collapse." -Reported remark by an internal revenue service officer to Sen. Henry E. Bellmon (R. Okla.) on April 15, 1971.
Shpedly's picture

Old news. The dark Web has been around since the inception of the Internet. Truly a vast array of thieves beyond any one's comprehension.

DirkDiggler11's picture

One important tax tip, NEVER file your return by the April 15th deadline. ALWAYS file an extension, you have until October to complete and file.

Almost all IRS audits are on people that file by the April 15th deadline.....

mtanimal's picture

I am still amazed most people don't know this.

No, I'm not. Most people are morons, or parasites.

sheikurbootie's picture

Over 20 years of extensions.  Never more than a paper audit due to me owing more from penalties.

I've outlived one accountant and the 2nd is getting up there.

junkyard dog's picture

Who is at fault? The idiot that uses the IRS for a savings account. Never ever over pay your taxes. Anyone who does is dumb fuck. Always owe; no one steals your liability. Here is how you do it. Claim three exemptions, put the extra money in a bank account and hold it. File your return on time but do not send a check for the taxes owed. The IRS will bill you- send 1/3. They will bill you again- send the 2nd 1/3. They will bill you again-send the final 1/3. No payment agreement is needed. Total penalty and interest less than $20.00. Only poor people have their identity stolen during tax season. They are the ones that like to over pay their tax liability. Rich people do not have W2's.

sheikurbootie's picture

J dog, you are correct.  Most here won't understand or comprehend.

Umh's picture

I have not have a refund in decades. If I get a refund it will be because of a mistake.

ThanksIwillHaveAnother's picture

The weak link is always the human.

rockstone's picture

So....I might get fucked while I'm getting fucked?

GRDguy's picture

Just realized that hackers and our government representatives cause us the same problem.

They both already lie and steal so profitably that we can't afford to fight them.

Government was supposed to help us fight bullies;

not for the government to be the biggest bully of all.

mtanimal's picture

I heard something about the terms "cheese pizza" and "walnut sauce" being used on the web once, but It seems it was much adobout nothing. Why should this bother me? :-/

Anon2017's picture

Place a freeze on your three credit reports. The day you become a victim of identity theft, you'll wish you had. Check the credit freeze rules for your state.

DistortedPictures's picture

Yes, this is a must. One crooked part of this is that you have to pay but it is a small amount but the point is that paying itself is a fucked up idea.  Plus, one has to check their state law like you said because the crooks have decided to limit the time of your freeze.  It is war folks and the front line is everywhere. 

Anon2017's picture

What does a company like Credit Karma do with your tax information if you use their free tax filing program?