CT Department of Revenue Services, IRS Warn of New Scam to Steal Tax Preparer Passwords

Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) Commissioner Kevin Sullivan joined the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in warning tax preparers of last-minute phishing email scams, especially those requesting tax preparers to perform tax software updates that steal passwords.

Said DRS Commissioner Kevin Sullivan, "Tax preparer-related scams happen throughout the year, not just during tax season. Cybercriminals are ever evolving and make use of sophisticated scams to try and trick tax professionals to get at personal information and passwords."

“Tax professionals should instill strong security measures to protect their clients and protect their business. This is the time of year when many software providers issue software upgrades,” said Sullivan.

This new email scam comes with a subject line of “Software Support Update” and highlights an “Important Software System Upgrade.” It thanks recipients for continuing to trust the software provider to serve their tax preparation needs and mimics the software providers’ email templates.

The e-mail informs the recipients that due to a recent software upgrade, the preparer must revalidate their login credentials on a fictitious website that mirrors the software provider’s actual login page. The cybercriminals then use the stolen credentials to access the preparers’ accounts and steal the client’s tax information.

These types of phishing scams are why the Connecticut DRS, the IRS and the tax industry, acting as the Security Summit, launched the 10-week Don’t Take the Bait campaign currently underway. This awareness effort highlights the many tactics of cybercriminals as well as the steps tax professionals can take to protect their clients and themselves.

More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on IRS.gov or by contacting DRS by calling (860) 297-5962 or outside the Hartford calling areas at (800) 382-9463.