The IRS has warned tax professionals of a new wave of attacks that allow identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns by remotely taking over practitioners’ computers.
Tax professionals are urged to review their tax preparation software settings and immediately enact all security measures, especially those settings that require usernames and passwords to access the products. The IRS is aware of approximately two dozen cases where tax professionals have been victimized in recent days.
"This latest incident reinforces the need for all tax professionals to review their computer settings as soon as possible," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Identity thieves continue to evolve and look for new areas to exploit, especially as our fraud filters become more effective."
Thieves are able to access tax professionals’ computers and use remote technology to take control, accessing client data and completing and e-filing tax returns but directing refunds to criminals’ own accounts.