Tax Professionals Beware
Commonly around when tax season comes around, scammers take notice and begin trying to pass off as the IRS to fool individual taxpayers; however, right now the IRS and Security Summit are warning tax professionals to a new scam of spear phishing emails directed at the preparers themselves.
Spear phishing emails aren’t your average every day, “hey, this is important” obvious scam style email, spear phishing is more directed and focused on the individual or company. The IRS is warning tax professionals that the scammers will researching and the email may appear to be from a colleague, client, software provider, or even the IRS. Once the email is opened it may unload malware, or it might contain an attachment that once opened unloads the virus to the computer to steal information.
The IRS is offering some guidance to protect professional and customers’ data:
Use separate personal and business email accounts; use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
Install anti-phishing toolbars and software
Use security software to help protect your systems
Never open or download attachments from unknown senders
Send only password-protected and encrypted documents if files must be shared with clients via email
As tax professionals and providers it is imperative we provide our services with the utmost responsibility and care. Be sure to protect your data and customers’ data by following the steps above. If you or a client have questions be sure to contact the professionals at the Center for Financial, Legal & Tax, Inc.