Scam Claims Your Tax Preparer Was Breached

We heard about a new twist all the Income Tax refund scam that is popular with cyber-criminals this time of year.  A March 27th email from the Minnesota Society of CPAs, warns about a scam that is appearing on the east coast, but could spread anywhere in the US.

“…the email scam claims a tax preparer has been victimized [or breached] and asks users to open a PDF attachment, claiming to be a secured file. The file has a hyperlink which, if clicked, directs users to a phishing site requesting your email address and password.”

So be on guard for emails claiming to be from a state CPA association about your tax preparer.  It is always best to confirm these sorts of claims with a phone call or a quick online search for information.

It is best to avoid using provided links in any email, this will prevent you from ending up on a clever replica page giving up your email address and password or other personal information.  One way to check the validity of the link is to hover over the link until the tool tip box opens (about 5 seconds).  Then you can see the actual destination and determine if it seems legitimate.  Another method is to right click on the link and copy it. Then go to and paste it into the URL checker.  If the link is affiliated with a phishing scam, VirusTotal will identify it as dangerous.


About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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