Spam emails are on the rise!

I just received a very believable email from an unknown person who included attachments on the email. It’s well-known that spammers are attacking tax professionals trying to compromise their systems in order to gain access to sensitive taxpayer information. Luckily, we have a great IT department who can check before anyone opens these emails.

Caution - Avalanche Danger
Caution – Avalanche Danger

The email I received today has a subject: IRS Notices and my Tax Details

The body was simply:

Hi Brian Streig,

Enclosed is the IRS correspondence i received in the mail, kindly Review it. and here is my W2, 1040 and if you need anything else to file my taxes kindly let me know

Thanks

i was referred to you by a great Referral through Directory IRS Enrolled Agent/CPAs

There was a signature with a real looking name, title and contact information. However, the senders address didn’t agree with this contact information.

I sent the email to our IT group and they confirmed it was spam. The attachments were access databases, which they said is something that should never be trusted.

My rules for evaluating emails, especially with attachments or links within them are very simple:

  1. If I don’t know the sender then I am very suspicious.
  2. Even if I know the sender, if I’m not expecting the email or attachments, I am very suspicious.
  3. Most importantly: If there is an attachment from someone I do not know and am not expecting – I DO NOT OPEN OR CLICK ON IT.
  4. If I now the person I will email them from a new email (not replying to the original) and confirm it is legit.
  5. If I don’t know the person, I send it to my IT group for verification before I do anything else with it.

Be safe and be on the lookout because the slime balls are ratcheting up their game this year.