CPAs Targeted in New Scams
The IRS notes that criminals, many of them sophisticated, organized syndicates, are redoubling their efforts to gather personal data to file fraudulent federal and state income tax returns. The Security Summit created the “Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself” campaign to raise awareness among tax professionals about their legal obligation to protect taxpayer data as well as highlight security threats they face from identity thieves. The tactics of the scammers continue to evolve rapidly and these tactics may change or become more sophisticated. Some of the recent scams that target the tax professional community include the following:
- Tax Professionals Warned of e-Services Scam.
- Tax Professionals Warned of New Scam to “Unlock” Tax Software Accounts.
- A phishing scheme mimicking software providers targets tax professionals.
- Criminals target tax professionals to steal data such as PTINs, EFINs or e-Service passwords.
Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, headlining the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds tax payers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during the filing season. Scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave "urgent" callback requests through phone "robo-calls," or via a phishing email. You will not receive a call from the IRS unless you have received numerous written notices from the IRS first. And they will definitely not request payment by gift card, credit card, or wire transfer. If you have received a suspicious call contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their "IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting" web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
Fake Tax Bills
The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners issued an alert to taxpayers and tax professionals to be on guard against fake emails and letters purporting to contain an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act. The IRS has received numerous reports around the country of scammers sending a fraudulent version of CP2000 notices for your tax year 2015. This scam may arrive by email, as an attachment, or by mail. The CP2000 is a notice commonly mailed to taxpayers through the United States Postal Service. It is never sent as part of an email to taxpayers. The fraudulent CP2000 notice included a payment request that taxpayers mail a check made out to "I.R.S" to the "Austin Processing Center" at a Post Office Box address. This is in addition to a "payment" link within the email itself.
Fraudulent Credit Card Scam
Our office recently received a credit card with $100,000 limit that we didn't apply for. I went online and found that it was a total scam and if you activate this card it allows others access to your number and make purchases on your behalf, which you could be held liable for. The company name is Pacific Capital LLC and is calling the card an equipment lease line of credit and they claim to have gotten your information from Dun & Bradstreet. If you type the name of the company in your web browser, you will see articles relating to it being a scam.