New EFIN Scam Alert

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The Internal Revenue Service is alerting tax professionals of a scam email imperson-
ating various software companies in an attempt to steal Electronic Filing Identification
Numbers (EFINs).
The IRS is warning tax professionals that scammers are posing as tax software providers
and requesting EFIN documents under the guise of a required verification to transmit tax
returns. These thieves attempt to steal client data and tax preparers’ identities, creating
the potential for them to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.
To help protect tax professionals against this emerging scam, the IRS is hosting a special
series of educational webinars aimed at the tax community. The sessions will begin Feb-
ruary 12 and run each day next week. See for details.
“With filing season underway, scammers use this time of year to target tax professionals
as well as taxpayers in hopes of stealing information that can be used to try filing fraudu-
lent tax returns,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “The IRS and the Security Sum-
mit partners have noticed a new surge of an EFIN scam email that targets professionals.
This scam serves as a powerful reminder that tax professionals should ensure strong
security at their practices, including reminding employees to be careful with any emails
coming in that could be posing as an official communication. A little extra caution can
mean a world of difference for tax professionals during this busy period.”
The IRS has already received dozens of reports of the scam targeting tax professionals.
They should be alert for a scam email that includes a U.S. based area code for faxing EFIN
documents and also provides instructions on obtaining EFIN documentation from the
IRS e-Services site if unavailable. Scam variations being seen use different fax numbers
for software vendors. Other warning signs of a scam include inconsistencies in the email
wording and a German footer in the email.
The IRS cautions tax professionals who receive these should not respond to the email
and should not proceed with any of the steps displayed in the email. The body of the
fraudulent email states:

Dear [recipient_email_address],
Help us protect you.
Because many Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) are stolen each year
and used to file fraudulent tax returns, the IRS has asked software vendors, such as
Software A, to verify who the EFIN owner is by getting a copy of the IRS issued EFIN
document(s). Our records show that we do not have a document for one or more of
the EFINs that you transmit with.
What this means for you: Until your EFIN is verified, you will be unable to transmit
returns. Please provide a copy of your EFIN Account Summary from IRS e-Services,
with a status of ‘Completed’, to Software B for verification.
To send us your EFIN Summary document:
1. Fax to Software B at 631-995-5984
If you do not have the above documentation you can get a copy of your IRS Applica-
tion Summary from IRS e-Services by following the below steps or call the IRS e-Ser-
vices helpline at 866-255-0654.
1. Sign in to your IRS e-Services account
2. Choose your organization from the list provided and click Submit
3. Click the Application link to access your existing application
4. Click the e-File Application link
5. Select the existing application link that applies to your organization
6. Click the Application Summary link for the area of the application you wish to
7. Click the Print Summary link at the bottom of the summary presented on the screen
If you have any questions please contact the Compliance Department at xxx-xx-xxxx
for assistance.
Thank you for your business. We look forward to serving you this coming season.
Software B (edited)
Tips to avoid and how to report potential scams. Tax-related identity theft scams con-
sistently target tax professionals with a slew of scams and schemes that seek to gain ac-
cess to sensitive taxpayer information. As these schemes continue to evolve and increase
in volume, they pose a threat to both tax professionals and the clients they serve.
Earlier this year, the IRS warned tax professionals of a surge of a new client scheme, and
they should continue watching for this scam.
Some phishing scams are ransomware schemes in which the thief obtains control of the
tax professionals’ computer systems and holds the data hostage until a ransom is paid.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned against paying a ransom because
thieves typically leave the data encrypted.

Tax pros who receive the scam email should notify the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
Administration (TIGTA) to report the IRS impersonation scam.They should also save the
email and send it as an attachment to
If there is suspicion that data theft has occurred, tax pros should report it to their local
IRS Stakeholder Liaison as soon as possible. IRS Stakeholder Liaison staff will ensure all
appropriate IRS offices are alerted and can take steps to block fraudulent returns in the
clients’ names as well as assist tax pros through the process.
Tax professionals should be attentive to other phishing scams that seek EFINs, Preparer
Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs), or e-Services usernames and passwords.

SOURCE: The Tax Book

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