Fraudulent AICPA E-mail Targets CPAs
by Terri Eyden on
A fraudulent e-mail phishing scam was sent to CPAs, non-CPAs, and the general public on July 19, 2012, accusing the recipients of tax refund fraud and threatening license suspension. The e-mails claim to be coming from the AICPA and incorporate an AICPA banner. The AICPA advises anyone who receives one of these e-mails to delete it immediately.
Forbes published the text of the e-mail received by a Forbes writer, which says, in rather awkward English:
"Valued accountant officer,
We have received a complaint about your recent involvement in income tax refund fraud on behalf of one of your employers. According to AICPA Bylaw Section 765 your Certified Public Accountant status can be cancelled in case of the occurrence of filing of a false or fraudulent income tax return on the member's or a client's behalf.
Please find the complaint below and respond to it within 14 days. The failure to respond within this period will result in suspension of your CPA license."
Suspicious IRS-Related E-mails
If you or your clients receive an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information:
- Do not reply.
- Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
- Do not click on any links.
- If you clicked on links in a suspicious e-mail or phishing website and entered confidential information, visit our identity protection page.
- Forward the e-mail as-is, to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do not forward scanned images of printed e-mails as that strips the e-mail of valuable information only available in the electronic copy.
- After you forward the e-mail and/or header information to us, delete the original e-mail message you received.
A complaint.doc, which is actually a link, is attached. Don't click on it. It leads to websites that harbor malware, according to hoax-slayer.com.
The AICPA advises anyone who clicked on the link to run a full virus scan of their system.
The e-mails were sent from three different people, Forbes reported. Forbes also points out that "while the AICPA is the world's largest association representing the accounting profession, it would not be the first line of communication about suspected tax fraud: that would be IRS and they would not contact you via e-mail."
The AICPA has notified law enforcement of the incident and continues to monitor the situation.
- Gone Phishing: Dealing with Internet Thugs
- Financial Services Sector Increasingly Targeted by Phishing Attacks
You may like these other stories...
Truckers and other owners of heavy highway vehicles take note: Your next federal highway use tax return is due on September 2.The September 2 due date, which was pushed back two days because the normal August 31 deadline...
The head of the IRS has a message for taxpayers and tax preparers who have endured long wait times while on the phone with the tax agency: Call your member of Congress.During his keynote speech at the 69th Annual Meeting of...
Regulators struggle with conflicts in credit ratings and auditsThe Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which was created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, released its third annual report on audits of...
Upcoming CPE Webinars
This webcast will include discussions of recently issued, commonly-applicable Accounting Standards Updates for non-public, non-governmental entities.
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.