New Phishing Scheme Targets Tax Pros

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August 19, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service is alerting tax professionals to a new phishing scheme where scammers pose as tax software companies.

Several tax professionals received emails asking the recipient to download and install an "important software update" via a link included in the e-mail.

Once recipients click on the embedded link, they are directed to a website to download a file appearing to be an update of their software package. The file has a naming convention that uses the actual name of their software followed by an ".exe extension."

Upon completion, tax professionals believe they have downloaded a software update when in fact they have loaded a program designed to track the tax professional's key strokes, which is a common tactic used by cyber thieves to steal login information, passwords and other sensitive data.

Tax professionals are encouraged to be on the lookout for these scams and never to click on unexpected links in emails. Similar email schemes were used to target individual taxpayers in the past.

For a checklist to help safeguard taxpayer information and enhance office security, tax professionals can review   IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A Guide for Your Business.

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