The IRS reminds tax professionals to be on the lookout for spear phishing emails. These differ from general phishing emails in that the thief has researched the target before sending the message. An email may appear to be from a colleague, a client, a cloud storage provider, tax software provider, the IRS, or a state government. Spear phishing emails are one of the most common way data thieves enter preparers’ digital networks to steal client information.
Here are some facts about spear phishing emails to help preparers recognize the scam and avoid becoming a victim:
The IRS and its partners in the Security Summit are alerting preparers to spear phishing emails as part of the Tax Security 101 awareness initiative to provide tax professionals with the basic information they need to better protect taxpayer data and to help prevent the filing of fraudulent tax returns.
Federal Trade Commission Safeguards Rule
Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data
Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals
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