The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a warning to tax professionals to be alert to a new e-mail scam that impersonates tax software providers and attempts to steal usernames and passwords. Recipients of these e-mails are told that, due to a recent software upgrade, the tax preparer must revalidate their login credentials. It provides a link to a fictitious website that mirrors the software provider's actual login page. However, instead of upgrading software, the tax professionals are providing their information to cybercriminals who use the stolen credentials to access the preparers' accounts and steal client information.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as part of the Security Summit, is urging tax professionals to stay vigilant with regard to a variety of e-mail scams and "spear phishing" that aim to steal personal information about clients and companies. Between January and May 2017, some 177 tax professionals or firms reported data thefts involving thousands of clients' information.
The IRS recently alerted employers to a dangerous new e-mail phishing scam involving false requests for payroll information made through "spoof" accounts. This scam "can result in the large-scale theft of sensitive data that criminals can use to commit various crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The IRS Security Summit issued a warning to tax professionals about a new e-mail scam by cybercriminals posing as potential clients. Scammers are sending phishing e-mails in two parts, beginning with a standard solicitation for services followed by a second email with an embedded web address or PDF attachment with an embedded web address. When the tax professional thinks they are accessing a new client's tax information, in reality they are opening up their system for the scammer to collect personal information for illegitimate use.
Taxpayers and tax professionals across the U.S. are being targeted by yet another scam. The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners recently issued a warning regarding fake e-mails purporting to contain an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act. The scam has already been reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for investigation.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a YouTube video for tax professionals to learn about the increase in cybercriminal activity targeting tax-related businesses and their data, and steps professional can take to protect their clients from identity theft. This video is part of the ongoing Secuirty Summit efforts to educate the public and professionals about the recent growth in refund fraud, phishing, and other tax scams. To learn more, watch the YouTube video here.
The Security Summit, a partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies, and private-sector tax industry executives, met on June 28, 2016 to review its first-year successes and strategize for 2017. The Summit focused on improving authentication procedures, information sharing, cybersecurity, and public outreach to help keep taxpayers' data and money safe.
The Internal Revenue Service has been cracking down on refund fraud and identity theft through the Security Summit initiative and its Criminal Investigation (CI) work. In fiscal year 2015, CI initiated 776 identity theft investigations, which led to 774 sentencings. Individuals found guilty of this type of crime face significant jail time. The average sentence in FY 2015 was 38 months, while the longest sentence was for more than 27 years.
The Internal Reveue Service (IRS) has temporarily suspended its online Identity Protection PIN tool in order to conduct a review of the security features of the application. The IP PIN is a six-digit number taxpayers can use as "an additional layer of protection" against identity theft. As of the end of February 2016, the IRS prevented 800 cases of tax fraud using these PIN numbers.
Tax season is here, and so are criminals ready to scam you out of your money or refunds. The IRS says, "Remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."