Be Alert For Email Tax Scams

Be Alert For Email Tax Scams

January 8, 2019 Uncategorized 0 Comments

Jeff Stimpson of Accounting Today warns that phishing emails involving payroll direct deposits, wire transfers and W-2s have been increasing. According to his post (https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/phishing-scams-target-tax-pros-via-payroll-wire-transfers) while all businesses are targets, the IRS and state revenue departments have reported that tax preparers are especially vulnerable going into tax season.

Email scams impersonate employees or executives and target payroll or human resources departments. They will request lists of W-2s, changes in direct deposits to the thief’s account, or wire transfers to fraudulent accounts.

The best defense is employee training on spotting and reporting suspicious emails. Spelling and/or grammar errors can be a clue. Ask for verification without using the email address or phone number provided by the email.

Stimpson lists websites for reporting scams:

For the general public, www.ic3.gov.

Tax professionals report tax-related phishing to phishing@irs.gov.

Employers victimized by scams report to dataloss@irs.gov. If no loss, forward email to phishing@irs.gov. (Warning: due to the partial government shutdown the IRS website may not be available or regularly monitored.)




About the Author

Harry Cylinder

Harry Cylinder, CPCU, ARM has spent nearly fifty years in the insurance industry, the majority of the time as a consultant. He has been employed by The Beacon Group of Companies since 2008, specializing in the review and analysis of property and casualty coverage forms. Mr. Cylinder has been reviewing policy forms as they have evolved over the past decades. In 2008 he published an article in the CPCU Journal which was the first description of cyber insurance coverage for a general insurance audience. Since that time he has regularly written on cyber and other topics for The Beacon Companies’ blog.