IRS Sounds the Alarm: New Scams Threaten Tax Professionals

The IRS and the Security Summit have issued a renewed warning to tax professionals about a surge in sophisticated scams designed to steal sensitive business and taxpayer information. These schemes pose a serious threat not only to your clients' financial well-being but also to the integrity of your practice.

scam alert for tax professionals

Evolving Tactics: How Scammers Are Targeting Tax Professionals

Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly cunning, employing various tactics to trick unsuspecting tax professionals. Here are some of the trending schemes to be on high alert for:

  • The “New Client” Trap: Fraudsters pose as potential clients, using cleverly crafted emails to gain your trust and extract sensitive information like your EFIN, PTIN, or CAF number. They may send malicious attachments or embed links to fake websites designed to steal your login credentials or infect your computer with malware.
  • Phishing Attacks Targeting Key Identifiers: Scammers are aggressively targeting tax professionals' EFINs, PTINs, and CAF numbers through phishing emails and text messages that appear to be from the IRS. They often create convincing fake websites that mimic the real IRS website, tricking tax professionals into providing their sensitive information.
  • Phone, Text, and Mail Schemes: Be aware of schemes targeting taxpayers through phone calls, text messages, and even AI-generated fake IRS letters. These scams aim to steal Social Security numbers, birth dates, banking information, and other sensitive data. Be on the lookout for clients reporting such scams.
  • Social Media Deception: Be vigilant about misinformation and scams circulating on social media platforms. Scammers may create false tax documents like W-2s or promote non-existent tax credits to lure unsuspecting taxpayers into sharing their personal information.

Protect Yourself, Protect Your Clients

The good news is that you can take proactive steps to protect yourself and your clients from these evolving threats. Here's what Engineered Tax Services recommends:

  • Scrutinize New Client Requests: Be wary of unsolicited emails from potential clients, especially those requesting urgent assistance or asking for sensitive information. Verify their identity independently before sharing any confidential data.
  • Stay Informed About IRS Communications: The IRS will never initiate contact via email, text message, or social media to request personal or financial information. Be skeptical of any communication claiming to be from the IRS and always verify it through official IRS channels.
  • Educate Your Staff: Ensure your staff is well-versed in recognizing and avoiding phishing scams. Train them to identify suspicious emails and report any potential threats to the appropriate authorities.
  • Strengthen Cybersecurity: Implement strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and robust antivirus software to safeguard your computer systems and client data. Regularly update your software and security protocols.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter a scam or suspect a security breach, report it immediately to [email protected], your IRS Stakeholder Liaison, and the appropriate state tax agency.

Engineered Tax Services: Your Tax Advocates

At Engineered Tax Services, we are dedicated to being your trusted tax advocates. We understand the challenges tax professionals face and are committed to providing the guidance and support you need to navigate these ever-evolving threats.

We offer a range of services tailored specifically to real estate investors and CPAs, including cost segregation studies, 179D deductions, grants, and expert guidance on navigating the complexities of tax law.

Let us help you protect your business and your clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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