Scam of the day – August 25, 2017 – New scam targeting tax professionals

There is a reason scam artists are the only criminals we refer to as artists. They can be incredibly good at what they do.  Unfortunately, what they do is try to con us and steal our money and identities.

This is a time of the year when many tax professionals are receiving updates of their tax preparation software from their software providers. Knowing this,  scammers are targeting CPAs and other tax professionals with phishing emails that appear to come from the tax professional’s software provider with the subject line indicating “Software Support Update.”  In these emails, the scammers tell their intended victims that they need to revalidate their login credentials.  The scammers provide a link to a phony website that looks like the software provider’s webpage, but is a fake.  If the tax professional falls for this scam and provides his or her login information, the scammers will use this information to access the victim’s account and get at their client’s confidential  information which can then be used for purposes of identity theft.

TIPS

While the email address from which the email is sent may in some circumstances look legitimate, upon close observation you will see that it is not really from your software provider and in some instances, the email will be sent from a botnet of hacked computers such that the email address sending the email is that of an individual totally unrelated to the software company.  In addition, no tax preparation software providers insert links in emails for their clients to validate passwords.  In addition, you should never click on any link unless you have absolutely verified that it is legitimate.  The risk of all kinds of malware including ransomware is too great.  If you are a tax professional and you receive such an email and think that it might be legitimate, you should contact your software provider by email or phone to confirm that this was a scam.