New scam email impersonating IRS tries to steal tax pros’ EFINs
As tax season ramps up, the IRS is warning of a new scam involving emails that look like they’re from the agency but aim to steal Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) from tax professionals. Tax pros are big targets because thieves can use their EFINs to file multiple fraudulent income tax returns for refunds.
According to the IRS, the phishing email says it’s from “IRS Tax E-Filing” and has a subject line of “Verifying your EFIN before e-filing.” The official-looking message urges tax pros to send copies of their EFIN and driver’s license information to verify it in the system.
If you’re a tax pro, don’t respond. Instead, report the scam in both of these ways:
- Save the email as a file and send it to the IRS at email@example.com.
- Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Go to www.tigta.gov and click IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting in the column on the far right.
Other scams tax pros like you should watch for include:
- Thieves who pose as potential clients and interact with you through email. They eventually send you an attachment, saying it’s their tax information. It’s really malware that steals your passwords or takes over your computer system.
- Phishing emails that deploy a ransomware attack. In this attack, thieves hold your data hostage and demand a ransom. The FBI warns not to pay because the thieves often leave your data encrypted, which means you won’t be able to use it even if you do get it back.