The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has issued an urgent warning concerning a phishing scam that seeks to steal Electronic Filing Identification Numbers.
The scam, which emerged just before the tax filing season began Feb. 12, involves emails that impersonate the IRS with a subject line “verifying your EFIN before e-filing.” The text of the email asks tax preparers to email copies of the EFIN verification and driver’s license with a fake warning that if they do not comply, their ability to file tax documents electronically will be disabled.
In the event that victims fall for the scam, the information obtained can be used to illegally file tax returns for refunded by impersonating the victim.
“Tax professionals who received the scam should save the email as a file and then send it as an attachment to email@example.com,” the IRS advised in the Feb. 10 notice. “They also should notify the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration… to report the IRS impersonation scam.”
Although IRS impersonation scams are not new, there’s a COVID-19 pandemic angle to the current phishing campaign. “Some thieves also pose as potential clients, an especially effective scam currently because there are so many remote transactions during the pandemic,” the IRS explains. “The thief may interact repeatedly with a tax professional and then send an email with an attachment that claims to be their tax information.”
Tax scams are “as inevitable as paying…