Generali Global Assistance Publishes Whitepaper on the Rise of Phishing and Other Scams During Tax Season

Company partners with the Identity Theft Resource Center to provide expert insight on the alarming prevalence of these schemes, the implications for businesses, and the measures companies and consumers can take to protect themselves from tax fraud

Bethesda, Md. – April 11, 2017 – Generali Global Assistance (“GGA” or “the Company”), a leader in the assistance industry since its founding in 1963 and part of the global Generali Group, and the developer of the Iris® identity protection platform, today published its latest whitepaper, in a series of reports highlighting the many aspects of identity theft, entitled “Phishing and Tax Fraud: Understanding these Growing Crimes’ Effects on Businesses.”

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, in 2016, just over 55 percent of the reported 1,093 US data breaches were caused by spearphishing, an identity theft scheme targeting employees with access to sensitive data, whereby scammers send bogus emails that appear to come from a “trusted” source and request that confidential information be forwarded to cybercriminal enterprises. These emails may also include links or attachments that lead to malicious websites or install malware that has the capacity to disable an organization’s entire computer network.

Last year, the IRS issued a consumer alert citing a 400 percent surge in spearphishing and malware incidents, putting both companies and consumers on notice that they must be aware of these scams and take precautions to secure sensitive data.  Please find the full white paper available for download here.

Paige Schaffer, president and COO of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit, commented on today’s news, “With tax season in full swing, everyone must be on alert for identity theft scams as confidential information is particularly vulnerable as it passes through various channels this time of year. Corporate breaches and identity theft cause extensive damage to personal finances, mental health and corporate reputations. Those who are not prepared to deal with these challenges directly may face tremendous consequences in their aftermath.”

Fortunately, there are measures that can help protect against these scams. Companies can institute educational programs for their workforce, utilize spam filters, and update anti-virus software and firewalls. Consumers should file their taxes as soon as possible, sign up for Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts, and never send emails with personally identifiable information attached.

Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center commented, “Both individuals and businesses have a shared responsibility to take action against these scams. The speed with which they occur and the lightning-fast pace with which they evolve means virtually everyone is a stakeholder in combatting hackers, scammers, and thieves. The companies that have incorporated a response strategy are the ones that will be less vulnerable to the web’s many cyber risks. Likewise, those individuals who have taken the time to be their own best advocate when it comes to protecting their identities will be less likely to fall victim.”

About Generali Global Assistance (GGA)
Generali Global Assistance (GGA), formerly Europ Assistance in the U.S., is based in Bethesda, Maryland, and has been a leader in the assistance industry since its founding in 1963. GGA is a brand of Europ Assistance Group and part of the multinational Generali Group, which for over 185 years has created a presence in 60 countries with over 76,000 employees. Our success has been built on the foundation of trust that clients have placed in our ability to provide assistance in the most difficult of circumstances.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)
The ITRC is a non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cyber security, scams/fraud, and privacy issues.

GGA Media Contact
Jay A. Morakis
M Group Strategic Communications (for Generali Global Assistance North America)
+1 212 266 0191

GGA Marketing Contact
Eugenia Buggs
VP, Global Marketing, Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit
+1 240.330.1091