United States

The IRS warns tax professionals of phishing scam

TAX ALERT  | 

The IRS issued an announcement to e-Services users to be aware of a new phishing scam to trick tax professionals into signing a new, but fraudulent, e-Services user agreement.

A phishing scam is a type of scam where the scam instigator attempts to obtain sensitive user-information, such as user names, passwords, credit card, bank or social security information. The perpetrators of the e-Services scam are attempting to obtain user passwords and data in the phishing attempt. The scam email was created to appear as though it was received from “e-Services Registration” and has “Important Update about Your e-Services Account” in the subject line. Included in the email is a link ostensibly taking users to the IRS site, but actually directing recipients to a fake website.

The IRS advises that any user who may have clicked on the link should perform a deep scan with security software and contact IRS IT/cybersecurity personnel and the IRS e-Help Desk.

The IRS believes that this scam is a last-ditch effort by cybercriminals to steal passwords and other data prior to its implementation of a two-factor authentication system, set to occur later this month. The IRS has warned that these schemes are sophisticated and adaptive in nature. Any recipient of any communication purporting to be from the IRS should be cautious before clicking on any link embedded in the communication or entering sensitive personal information.

Throughout the summer of 2017, the IRS, state tax agencies and tax industry have rolled out the “Don’t Take the Bait” education series in an effort to help educate tax professionals on computer security. The IRS reminded tax professionals that they have a legal requirement to protect taxpayer information. 

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