Unscrupulous headhunters have been calling accounting firms pretending to be representatives of the American Institute of CPAs in order to steal lists of employees, warned the AICPA.

During the past month, someone posing as an AICPA rep has been contacting firms claiming to provide free tax guides in exchange for an employee list, according to a recent AICPA News Update. The institute has not identified the caller but believes it is a headhunter who wants the firm names, titles and phone numbers for recruitment efforts. The scam has taken place in the past as well, according to AICPA vice president Jay Rothberg.

“Regrettably this is something that has occurred periodically over the years and we’ve put out this kind of alert before trying to identify who the individuals are,” he told WebCPA. “That’s what we are trying to do, find out who the people are and make every effort to have them stop what would be an inappropriate action.”

Rothberg added that there have been situations in which recruiters used old AICPA letterhead and sent faxes to firms. “It’s pretty unfortunate that people would go to this kind of extreme,” he said. “I think it’s just an indication of how inept these headhunter firms are. It doesn’t reflect on the industry, but it definitely reflects on these specific firms.”

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