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ASK THE EDD ATTORNEY – TAX RETURN PREPARERS: BE AWARE OF NEW PHISHING SCHEMES

By Robert S. Schriebman

August 29, 2016

Introduction

Most of us tax professionals take it for a given that the FTB and the IRS share information. It is rare however that the FTB will pass down an internal IRS warning to be wary of a new phishing scheme where scammers are now posing as software companies. On August 19 the FTB issued a public statement warning tax preparers to be on the alert for the latest trick.

Take Warning

Scammers are now posing as software companies. Be on the alert for a download that requests you to install "important software updates" via a link included in their email.

As soon as you click on the link you are directed to a website instructing you to download a file or files that appear to be an update of your current software package. Your software package is specifically mentioned followed by ".exe extension."

You may believe that you have downloaded a software update, but here is the trick: you have loaded a program designed to track your keystrokes. This is a common tactic used by crooks to steal login information, passwords, and other sensitive data.

Be on the alert. If you are not expecting any updates or links, don’t select these – delete and delete!

As a point of reference you may want to check out IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, A Guide for Your Business.

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Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 40 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.

Robert Schriebman has written the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure," both published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures – A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House in addition to the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure," both published by Commerce Clearing House.

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