The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry on Friday warned tax professionals to beware of phishing emails purporting to be from a tax software education provider and seeking extensive amounts of sensitive preparer data.
The IRS reminds all tax professionals legitimate businesses and organizations never ask for usernames, passwords or sensitive data via email. Nor should a preparer ever provide such sensitive information via email if asked.
The email is unusual for the amount of sensitive preparer data that it seeks. This preparer information will enable the thieves to steal client data and file fraudulent tax returns.
All tax professionals should be aware their e-Services credentials, the Electronic Filing Information Number (EFIN), the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and their Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number are extremely valuable to identity thieves. Anyone handling taxpayer information has a legal obligation to protect that data.
The fake email uses the name of a real U.S.-based preparer education firm. Here’s the text as it appears in phishing emails being sent to tax professionals:
In our database, there is a failure, we need your information about your account.
In addition, we need a photo of the driver’s license, send all the data to the letter. Please do it as soon as possible, this will help us to revive the account.
Answers to a secret question
Prior Years AG
Mother’s Maiden Name
If you received or fell victim to the scam email, forward a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you disclosed any credential information, contact the e-Services Help Desk to reset your password. If you disclosed information and taxpayer data was stolen, contact your local stakeholder liaison.