The Internal Revenue Service has alerted tax professionals and their clients to a scam where cybercriminals gain access to annuity and life insurance accounts.
In one variation of the scheme, the IRS warned in a release, a cybercriminal impersonates a legitimate cloud-based storage provider and sends a phishing email to a tax professional, enticing him or her to provide their email credentials, including username and password.
With that access, the cybercriminal then steals client email addresses and impersonates the tax professional, sending emails to their clients with a fake IRS insurance form attached. The email requests that recipients complete and return the form.
Using data from the completed form, the cybercriminal impersonates the client and contacts the individual's insurance company and attempts to obtain a loan or make a withdrawal from those accounts.
In its release, the IRS reminds tax professionals to be on guard for phishing emails, free offers and other common tricks that scammers use. The agency said that tax professionals who have data breaches should contact the IRS immediately.
On Friday, the IRS issued another alert, warning taxpayers that various types of scams continue to run rampant across the country. In addition to online schemes, the list includes fraudulent phone calls and tax-refund identity theft.