IRS 2023 Dirty Dozen – Scam #8: Spearphishing and Cybersecurity for Tax Professionals and Businesses (Part A)
The Internal Revenue Service warned tax professionals and businesses that they remain a top target for identity thieves and face threats from common scams on this year’s Dirty Dozen list.
As part of the annual Dirty Dozen tax scams effort, the IRS and the Security Summit partners urged tax professionals and businesses to be on the lookout for a variety of suspicious email requests. Through these spearphishing emails, scammers try to steal client data, tax software preparation credentials and tax preparer identities with the goal of getting fraudulent tax refunds. These requests can range from an email that looks like it’s from a potential new client to a request targeting payroll and human resource departments asking for sensitive Form W-2 information.
“It’s vitally important for tax professionals and businesses to maintain a strong defense against cyberattacks like spearphishing,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “The information these businesses have on their systems is extremely valuable to an identity thief looking to steal identities and file fraudulent tax returns. There are simple steps that tax pros and businesses can take to avoid being fooled by these common schemes, including extra caution when opening emails, clicking on links or sharing sensitive client data. Extra care can go a long way to protect tax professionals and businesses as well as their clients.”
Working together as the Security Summit, the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry have taken numerous steps since 2015 to strengthen internal systems and controls to protects against tax-related identity theft. As part of this effort, the IRS and Summit partners continue to warn people about common scams and schemes during tax season and beyond that can threaten a taxpayer’s personal and financial information. The Security Summit initiative is committed to protecting taxpayers, businesses and the tax system from scammers and identity thieves, and the Dirty Dozen is part of the larger effort.
Next week #8: Spearphishing and cybersecurity for tax professionals and Businesses (Part B)
(IRS Web Site (TTT 082923)