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IRS Warns Of New Tax Scams

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

13 October 2017


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released guidance on a number of new fraud schemes targeting tax professionals and their clients.

On October 11 the agency issued a warning over a new phishing scam that attempts to trick targets into "signing" a fake new e-Services agreement, which enables fraudsters to steal passwords and personal data.

The email claims to be from "e-Services Registration" with the subject "Important Update about Your e-Services Account." It takes users to a fake website where they are asked to review and accept a new agreement.

The IRS is due to begin a move to Secure Access authentication later this month for its e-Services provision, including the use of two-factor authentication. It warned that: "All tax professionals should be aware that…cybercriminals likely will make last-ditch efforts to steal passwords and date prior to the transition."

In a further announcement on October 12, the IRS also warned of a fake insurance tax form scam that is being used to access annuity and life insurance accounts. Targeting both tax professionals and taxpayers, the scam has several variations but usually includes a phishing email pretending to be from a cloud-based storage provider, asking for email credentials. The cybercriminals then use these details to impersonate tax professionals and send fake emails to their clients, attaching a fake IRS form for completion. They then use the completed tax forms to impersonate the client and apply for withdrawals or loans from their insurance companies.

The IRS recommends that anyone receiving phishing emails or tax scams should forward them to phishing@irs.gov and then delete them.

TAGS: tax | insurance | insurance tax | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | professionals | United States

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