Scammers Lure Tax Pros With New Phishing Scheme



As if there wasn’t not enough for tax professionals to worry about with the major industry upsets caused by the on-going coronavirus pandemic, scammers are adding their weight to an already panting camel’s over-taxed back. The IRS is very clear in their assertion that they will not contact anyone directly via email, text or social media1. However, a new scam is making rounds, setting its sights on the coveted EFIN and running away with the keys to your professional castle.

According to Accounting Today, the IRS warned tax professionals of the new email phishing scam earlier this month2. The emails, examples of which are posted below, claim the recipient’s EFIN is either going to be or already has been suspended and that they must review an embedded document to correct the issue. That embedded document, typically described as a 1040 form, is more than likely loaded with malware.

Imagine if these emails hadn’t contained one or more spelling or grammatical errors, would you have been fooled into a quick reaction click? The World Economic Forum (WEF) reported last year that four new malware samples are created every second and that advanced phishing scams will be the bane of our existence in 20203. To combat these threats to your business and clients, remember to always use multi-factor authentication, strong passwords and security software. Always access your PTIN or EFIN account from the IRS website. For the official IRS word on protecting taxpayer data, review their guide and other resources online.

Additionally, MICPA members are currently able to take advantage of our partnership with IDTheft Assist. It can’t stop you from mistakenly opening an embedded document loaded with malware, but it might just help you get back up after a hard fall. Good luck, and stay safe out there, tax pros!

1. The Internal Revenue Service. Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. 2020
2. Cohn, Michael. New Email Scam Targets Tax Pros Warning Their EFINs Will be Suspended. 18 Mar. 2020.
3. Von Gravrock, Einaras. Here are the Biggest Cybercrime Trends of 2019. 04 Mar 2019.

Source: MICPA

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