News

02-17-2017

IRS Newswire: Security Summit Alert: Warning for Tax Professionals

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to be alert to a new phishing email scam impersonating software providers.

The scam email comes with the subject line, "Access Locked." It tells recipients that access to their tax prep software accounts has been "suspended due to errors in your security details." The scam email asks the tax professional to address the issue by using an "unlock" link provided in the email.

However, the link will take the tax professional to a fake web page, where they are asked to enter their user name and password. Instead of unlocking accounts, the tax professionals actually are inadvertently providing their information to cybercriminals who use the stolen credentials to access the preparers' accounts and to steal client information.

The Security Summit partners, which includes the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation's tax community, remind tax professionals and taxpayers to never open a link or an attachment from a suspicious email. These scams can increase during the tax season.

Tax professionals can review additional tips to protect clients and themselves at the Security Summit's awareness campaign, Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself on IRS.gov.

For tax professionals who receive emails purportedly from their tax software providers suggesting their accounts have been suspended, they should send those scam emails to their tax software provider. For Windows users, please this process to help the investigation of these scam emails:

  1. Use "Save As" to save the scam. Under "save as type" in the drop down menu, select "plain text" and save to your desk top. Do not click on any links.
  2. Open a new email and attach this saved email as a file.
  3. Send your new email containing the attachment your tax software provider, as well as copy Phishing@IRS.gov.




IRS Newswire -- Issue Number: IR-2017-39 February 17,2017

02-10-2017

2017 Enrollment is now closed

Visit our website throughout the summer for enrollment updates for the 2017/2018 season.

04-20-2016

Excerpt from IRS e-News update for Tax Professionals on 4/15/2016

Tax Pros: Beware of New Scam Targeting Your Computer Systems

The Internal Revenue Service warns tax professionals of a new emerging scam in which cybercriminals obtain remote control of preparers' computer systems, complete and file client tax returns and redirect refunds to thieves' accounts.

Although the IRS knows of a handful of cases to date, this scam has potential to impact the filing of frauduelent returns and is yet another example of tax professionals being targeted by identity theft criminals.

The IRS urges all tax preparers to take the following steps:

  • Run a security "deep scan" to search for viruses and malware
  • Strengthen passwords for both computer access and software access; make sure your password is a minimum of 8 digits (more is better) with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters
  • Be alert for phishing scams: Do not click on links or open attachments from unknown senders
  • Educate all staff members about the dangers of phishing scams in the form of emails, texts and calls

Review any software that your employees use to remotely access your network and/or your IT support vendors uses to remotely troubleshoot technical problems and support your systems. Remote access software is a potential target for bad actors to gain entry and take control of a machine. Tax professionals should review Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A guide for Your Business, which provides a checklist to help safeguard taxpayer information and enhance office security.