New email scam targets tax pros warning their EFINs will be suspended

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The Internal Revenue Service warned tax professionals Wednesday about a new version of a phishing email scam targeting them.

The phishing email claims the tax preparer’s Electronic Filing Identification Number has been placed on temporary hold and warns the EFIN will be suspended unless the recipient opens an embedded document and confirms or denies they submitted the Form 1040. The embedded “1040” document likely contains malware.

The IRS reminded tax professionals once again that they are frequently targeted by cybercriminals who hope to steal their clients’ data or the preparer’s identity. Identity thieves use many variations of phishing emails such as the latest one. The fake emails typically contain an urgent message (such as your EFIN will be suspended, in the present case) and aim to lure recipients into opening a link or attachment.

The IRS is urging all tax professionals to beware and follow some security steps to safeguard their clients and businesses. (See Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data for cybersecurity advice.)

The steps include:

  • Use the multifactor authentication option offered by tax prep software to protect accounts from unauthorized access.
  • Use strong password protections on all devices.
  • Never open suspicious emails, links and attachments that may carry malware.
  • Use strong security software and keep it updated.

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Tax scams IRS Phishing Malware Cyber security