On February 17, 2017 the IRS published a news release warning tax professionals to be aware of a new phishing scam in which hackers pose as software vendors. Targets of this scam receive an email seemingly from their software vendor with the subject line “Access Locked.” The scam then directs targets to a fake website that collects username and password information.
Although we have not seen any reports of our customers being targeted by the Access Locked scam, it’s important to be vigilant when protecting your clients’ sensitive information.
If you do receive an Access Locked or similar email, we recommend reporting the email to the IRS and then immediately deleting the email from your inbox as well as your deleted items folder. You can also report the email to the IRS by saving it as plain text and attaching the plain text file to a new email addressed to Phishing@IRS.gov.
Keep your data secure
Here are some important tips to keep your data secure this tax season:
- Never click a link or download an attachment from a suspicious email. Access our site directly through our main website, CCHGroup.com.
- Use strong passwords and change your passwords regularly.
- Avoid using the same password for multiple programs.
- Keep your staff informed about potential scams, and train them to avoid releasing sensitive information.
- If you believe your password may have been compromised, reset it right away. Visit our support site at support.cchgroup.com to find instructions for resetting your password.
- Stay informed of the most recent IRS announcements by registering for the IRS e-News for Tax Professionals. You can also follow the IRS on Twitter or Facebook.
The IRS has created its Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself campaign to help educate tax professionals about threats to client data. Identity theft is on the rise. That’s why it’s important to stay in the loop about the latest threats and be proactive about protecting against them.