IRS warns of new scheme targeting tax professionals - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

IRS warns of new scheme targeting tax professionals

Posted: Updated:
KHQ.com -

The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday issued a release warning tax professionals of a new phishing email scam that pretends to be from tax software providers and tries to trick recipients into clicking on a bogus link.

The IRS says the email is the latest in a series of attempts by fraudsters to use the IRS or other tax issues as a cover to trick people into giving up sensitive information such as passwords, Social Security numbers or credit card numbers or to make unnecessary payments.

The bogus emails request the recipient to download and install an important software update via a link included in the email. Once the recipient clicks on the embedded link, they are directed to a website prompting them to download a file appearing to be an update of their software package. The file has a naming convention that uses the actual name of the software followed by a .exe extension.

The download then tracks that person's keystrokes, which is a common tactic used by cyber thieves to steal login info, passwords and other sensitive data.

The IRS only knows of a handful of cases so far, but tax professionals are encouraged to be on the lookout for these scams and never click on unexpected links in emails.

The IRS recently launched the Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself campaign to raise awareness among tax professionals about security threats. They also urge tax preparers to take the following steps:

  • Be alert for phishing scams: do not click on links or open attachments contained in e-mails and always utilize a software provider’s main webpage for connecting to them.
  • Run a security “deep scan” to search for viruses and malware;
  • Strengthen passwords for both computer access and software access; make sure your password is a minimum of 8 digits long (more is better) with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters;
  • Educate all staff members about the dangers of phishing scams in the form of emails, texts and calls;
  • Review any software that your employees use to remotely access your network and/or your IT support vendor uses to remotely troubleshoot technical problems and support your systems. Remote access software is a potential target for bad actors to gain entry and take control of a machine. 
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Friday, August 17 2018 7:50 PM EDT2018-08-17 23:50:04 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>
  • No charges expected against kids who shot, killed man who was choking their mom

    No charges expected against kids who shot, killed man who was choking their mom

    Friday, August 17 2018 3:04 PM EDT2018-08-17 19:04:40 GMT
    Photo: Google MapsPhoto: Google Maps

    FOREST CITY, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina authorities say a man fatally shot by a teenager while strangling the girl's mother had faced domestic violence accusations in multiple states.    The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office said 46-year-old Steven Kelley assaulted the mother at least one other time before the Aug. 8 attack that ended with his death.

    >>

    FOREST CITY, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina authorities say a man fatally shot by a teenager while strangling the girl's mother had faced domestic violence accusations in multiple states.    The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office said 46-year-old Steven Kelley assaulted the mother at least one other time before the Aug. 8 attack that ended with his death.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Cd'A Little League fans, parents take in World Series experience

    Cd'A Little League fans, parents take in World Series experience

    Friday, August 17 2018 10:10 PM EDT2018-08-18 02:10:39 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Parents, thousands of miles away in Williamsport, Pennsylvania were eager to cheer on their ballplayers. A surreal feeling, Coeur d’Alene Little League is the second team from Idaho to ever make it to the Little League World Series. The kids have taken a humble attitude and have enjoyed the moment. Back at home, dozens of fans packed Capone’s in Midtown to see the first pitch. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Parents, thousands of miles away in Williamsport, Pennsylvania were eager to cheer on their ballplayers. A surreal feeling, Coeur d’Alene Little League is the second team from Idaho to ever make it to the Little League World Series. The kids have taken a humble attitude and have enjoyed the moment. Back at home, dozens of fans packed Capone’s in Midtown to see the first pitch. 

    >>
  • 100-year-old Spokane Valley man says caregiver stole his dog

    100-year-old Spokane Valley man says caregiver stole his dog

    Friday, August 17 2018 9:58 PM EDT2018-08-18 01:58:56 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A 100-year-old man says his caregiver stole his dog while he was getting ready to evacuate during the Upriver Beacon Fire. “She was very fond of Roy,” said Margel Jones, the wife of the dog’s owner, Roy Jones. Those closest to Roy say a caregiver took the dog, a 9-year-old Japanese Chin named Tinkerbell, while he was sitting in his car waiting to evacuate. “And I went out and said does anyone know where the dog is?” 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A 100-year-old man says his caregiver stole his dog while he was getting ready to evacuate during the Upriver Beacon Fire. “She was very fond of Roy,” said Margel Jones, the wife of the dog’s owner, Roy Jones. Those closest to Roy say a caregiver took the dog, a 9-year-old Japanese Chin named Tinkerbell, while he was sitting in his car waiting to evacuate. “And I went out and said does anyone know where the dog is?” 

    >>
  • Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Friday, August 17 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-08-18 01:16:06 GMT

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>