The latest Phishing scam to hit your inbox involves getting a notice from the IRS via e-mail. That’s why it’s important to remind yourself that official communication of tax problems is only delivered one way –- and it involves an envelope stamped by the USPS. Opening an e-mail on the topic of delinquent taxes, can turn out to be more expensive than anything the IRS can come up with.
Here’s how the crime unfolds without you knowing that you have a problem. The scammer sends you a notice that appears to come from the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (a.k.a. EFTPS). (One of our clients got such a notice last week!) Unfortunately, if you open the e-mail you’re at risk of releasing a malware program called the Zeus Trojan. This virus was in the news earlier this month as the FBI arrested more than 100 people who managed to steal millions from unsuspecting consumers. When you click on an e-mail with the Zeus program, it installs itself and then steals your online banking information without you being aware anything is happening. Actually you would ultimately become aware when you found out there was money missing from your bank account.
The moral of the story is, if you get a notice in your e-mail inbox that appears to be from the IRS, this is one time you don’t need to call your accountant. Just hit the delete key.
The materials related to taxes on www.thecpa.us are informational only and are not meant as tax advice. Consult with your tax advisor to determine how any item applies specifically to your situation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this information. Please contact us for an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.