EFIN scam, IRS webinars

Tax Pros Beware: EFIN Scams on the Rise, IRS Offers Help!

With tax season in full swing, scammers are out in force, and this year, tax professionals are a prime target. The IRS has issued a warning about a surge in “EFIN scam” emails, where cybercriminals impersonate tax software companies to steal Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs).

What are EFINs and why are they important?

An EFIN is a unique number assigned to tax professionals who electronically file tax returns. It’s like a digital signature, allowing them to transmit returns securely. But if it falls into the wrong hands, scammers can use it to file fraudulent returns and steal client refunds.

How does the scam work?

Scammers send emails that appear to be from legitimate tax software companies. They often claim there’s a problem with your EFIN, such as missing verification or outdated information. They then pressure you to click on a link or reply with your EFIN details.

Don't fall for it! Here's how to protect yourself:

  • Never share your EFIN in an email or over the phone. The IRS will never ask for it this way.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited emails, even if they seem legitimate. Check the sender’s email address carefully for typos or inconsistencies.
  • Hover over links before clicking. This will show you the actual URL, which can help you identify suspicious websites.
  • Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication for your tax software accounts.
  • Stay informed about the latest scams. The IRS website has a wealth of resources, including a page dedicated to tax professional security.

The IRS is offering help!

To help tax professionals stay safe, the IRS is hosting a series of free webinars on EFIN scams starting today, February 12th. These webinars will cover:

  • How to identify EFIN scam emails
  • Tips for protecting your EFIN and client data
  • What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

Register for the webinars here: CLICK HERE

Remember, vigilance is key! By being aware of the scams and taking steps to protect yourself, you can help keep your EFIN safe and your clients’ information secure.