Tax Season Kicks Impersonation Scam Leading to Identity Theft
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Tax filing season is just beginning. The Internal Revenue Service, (IRS) says that scammers have launched their first tax scam campaign to steal identities and money. This one is targeted at accountants and other professional tax preparers in an attempt to steal Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs).
In this tax scam, fraudsters attempt to trick professional tax preparers into emailing documents that disclose their identities and EFINs.
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“Phishing scams are the most common tool used by identity thieves to trick tax professionals into disclosing sensitive information, and we often see increased activity during filing season,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Tax professionals must remain vigilant. The scammers are very active and very creative.”
According to the IRS fraudsters send victims an email that appears to come from “IRS Tax E-Filing.” The tax scam has the subject line “Verifying your EFIN before e-filing.”
Phishing emails almost always attempt to scare the recipient into acting without thinking.
The messaging in this tax scam email informs the recipient that they need to click on a link or download an attachment or else their account will be disabled.
If the recipient follows the instructions in the email, they are prompted to disclose their personally identifiable information and EFIN. This results in identity theft which easily leads to financial fact.
Individuals should protect themselves by using phishing email detection apps and malware blocking apps.
Anyone who receives the scam should save the email as a file and then send it as an attachment to phishing @ irs.gov and report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at www.tigta.gov