As tax season 2024 approaches, tax-related identity frauds have increased. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently reported that fraudsters are now targeting tax preparers. Posing as real taxpayers who need help with their taxes, scammers use emails to obtain sensitive information or gain access to tax professionals’ client data, the IRS has said.

The latest scam, the IRS says, seeks to enable fraudsters to “steal sensitive personal information that will allow [them] prepare authentic looking tax returns to collect a refund – or use it to commit other types of fraud.”

Here’s how the IRS explains the scam

Scammers send a phishing email asking you for help with their taxes. The email might contain a malicious link or attachment. Or a scammer may send an initial email asking if you are seeking new clients. Once you respond to the initial email, the scammer sends a second email with a malicious link or attachment.

To you, you are downloading a potential client’s tax information or accessing a potential client’s tax information on a website. In the process, the scammer steals your email address and password or even loads malware on your computer. This is why the IRS wants you to be “extra cautious when receiving unexpected email solicitations and avoid clicking on links or opening attachments.”

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Carefully check every email that lands in your inbox for weirdly phrased sentences and strange word usage. While this is a good start, the IRS wants you to be extra vigilant since “scammers can find a legitimate email between a victim and their tax preparer.” This email might have no grammatical or spelling errors. There might even be references to legitimate tax issues. Beware!
  • If you haven’t already, try setting up two-factor or multi-factor authentication with your email provider. By doing this, you can reduce the risk of your email account being compromised.

What should you do?

You should report all unsolicited email—including the full email headers—claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to If you experience monetary losses due to an IRS-related scam incident, please report it to the Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA)Federal Trade Commission, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.