June 6, 2018
Fraudsters are continuing to modify their tactics through the phone or phishing emails to get taxpayers to send money or to access a preparer’s computer system.
Here are latest scams to be aware of:
Fake emails to tax practitioners from professional associations
IRS has received reports of tax preparers that are located in Iowa, Illinois, New Jersey and North Carolina have received fake emails that were trying to trick them into disclosing their email usernames and passwords.
These awkwardly worded phishing email state: “We kindly request that you follow this link HERE and sign in with your email to view this information from (name of professional organization) to all active members. This information has been updated for your kind information through our secure information sharing portal which is linked to your email server.”
Tax practitioners who are members of professional organizations should go directly to those associations’ websites rather than open any links or attachments. Tax practitioners who receive suspicious emails related to taxes or the IRS should forward those emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details see the IRS news article on May 24, 2018 - IRS warns tax pros of new scam posing as professional associations.
Phone scam that mimic IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers
In this latest twist to the old phone scam, criminals claiming to be calling form a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) office demanding that the taxpayer pay an overdue tax bill.
When the criminal calls the individual the local TAC number will be displayed on their Caller ID. If the taxpayer questions the demand for payment, they direct the taxpayer to IRS.gov to look up the local TAC office telephone number to verify that number displaying on their Caller ID. Once they have “verified” the number, the fraudster resumes their demand for money, generally via a debit card.
IRS reminds taxpayers that it typically initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
For more details see the IRS news article of April 24, 2018 - IRS, Security Summit Partners warn of new twist on phone scam; crooks direct taxpayers to IRS.gov to “verify” calls