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IRS Warns Tax Preparers to Watch out for New Phishing Scam; Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking Updated Information

IR-2015-31, Feb. 18, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned return preparers and other tax professionals to be on guard against bogus emails making the rounds seeking updated personal or professional information that in reality are phishing schemes.

“I urge taxpayers to be wary of clicking on strange emails and websites,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “They may be scams to steal your personal information.”

Specifically, the bogus email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs). The links that are provided in the bogus email to access IRS e-services appear to be a phishing scheme designed to capture your username and password. This email was not generated by the IRS e-services program. Disregard this email and do not click on the links provided.

Phishing made this year’s Dirty Dozen list of IRS tax scams. The full list is available on IRS.gov.

Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft.

If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, report it by sending it to phishing@irs.gov.

In general, the IRS has added and strengthened protections in our processing systems this filing season to protect the nation's taxpayers. For this tax season, we continue to make important progress in stopping identity theft and other fraudulent refunds.

It is important to keep in mind the IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS has information online that can help you protect yourself from email scams.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-Feb-2016