Tax practitioners should watch out for an email scam that pretends to be from tax software providers and tries to trick recipients into clicking on a bogus link, Washington Department of Revenue staff said.
The email scam is the latest in a series of attempts to trick people into giving up sensitive information such as passwords, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers, or into making unnecessary payments, Department of Revenue staff said.
“In the newest scam, tax professionals are receiving emails pretending to be from tax software companies,” a department statement read. “The email asks recipients to download and install an important software update via a link included in the email.
“Once recipients click on the embedded link, they are directed to a website prompting them to download a file that appears to be an update of their software package. The file has a naming convention that uses the actual name of their software, followed by an ‘.exe extension.’”
When completed, tax professionals believe they have downloaded a software update when in fact they have loaded a program designed to track the tax professional’s key strokes, which is a common tactic used by cyber thieves to steal login information, passwords and other sensitive data, Department of Revenue staff said.
Similar email schemes using tax software names have targeted individual taxpayers. People are advised not to click on unexpected links in emails.