Tax rip-offs targeting tax specialists are now on the rise: Warning from IRS
Today we have a guest post from guest blogger Sam.
The IRS has issued a special alert for tax specialists against phishing emails sent by scammers where they ask professionals to update their information related to IRS e-services. Like all scammers, they too try to make it sound very convincing and assert that some particular user’s information has been embezzled and that the account must be updated immediately in order to protect that information. IRS has asked professionals to be very careful of the emails generated by the scammers which lead to a bogus website made specially to collect personal information.
The fraudulent emails sent to professionals have the subject line as “Security Awareness for Tax Professionals” with the “From” line being “Your e-services Team”. The website that professionals get redirected to uses the logo for both IRS as well as their e-services department. The IRS is currently trying to reinforce their e-services department and the scammers have taken this opportunity to their advantage. They have made some very serious attempts to steal information from a tax specialist by posing as a member of the e-services team.
If a tax manager has fallen prey to these scammers and clicked on the bogus link provided by them in the e-mail, then they need to contact the help desk at IRS and place a request to reset their details on their account. Unless they do this, all personal information will be used by these scammers. Another piece of advice that is being given to tax professionals is that if they have used the same password for any other accounts, they need to change it too because the scammers are going to try and access information wherever they feel necessary.
The IRS is advising its professionals to scan their computers for extra security and remain extremely cautious and also look out for any signs of a compromise to their data or identity. It is advisable that a professional should directly go to the IRS for any sort of tax help especially if it pertains to their account instead of responding to e-mails. The emails sent by the scammers are very realistic and hence quite convincing. This is the reason why professionals might fall prey to these e-mails. However, the IRS is advising professionals to not click on any link provided in the emails without verifying its authenticity.
If a tax specialist receives any suspicious email, he or she may forward it to the email id firstname.lastname@example.org and delete the fraud mail from his computer immediately. It may be difficult not to believe the email sent by the scammers as it asks users to access their accounts in order to upgrade their security as a measure to secure their client’s information that has been stolen in 2015.
The IRS has been communicating with its tax professionals as they are trying to upgrade security for their e-services department. They are also conducting awareness campaigns called “Protect Your Clients: protect yourself” in an attempt to educate professionals about identity theft.
The author Sam has written several financial articles that have helped tax specialists all over the country to keep themselves updated with the recent trends going on in the tax department. His articles are not just targeted at professionals giving them tax help in the industry but also others who have little or no knowledge about tax related matters.