IRS warns tax practitioners of new phishing scam

IRS warns tax practitioners of new phishing scam

On Thursday, the IRS warned tax practitioners not to fall for the latest phishing scheme, involving emails from scammers posing as state accounting and professional associations (IR-2018-125). At the time of the IRS alert, practitioners in Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, and North Carolina had been targeted, and the IRS had received reports of one involving a Canadian accounting association.

The scam is aimed at getting practitioners to disclose their usernames and passwords, using the following “awkwardly worded” language: “We kindly request that you follow this link HERE and sign in with your email to view this information from (name of accounting association) to all active members. This announcement has been updated for your kind information through our secure information sharing portal which is linked to your email server.”

The IRS cautioned practitioners to be alert to any type of email scam because cybercriminals often change their tactics.

The IRS advised tax practitioners who are members of professional associations to go directly to the associations’ websites and not open any links or attachments in email. Practitioners who receive suspicious emails should forward them to phishing@irs.gov.

The IRS recommends that practitioners remain vigilant against any scam by implementing the following safeguards:

Sally P. Schreiber (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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