Courtesy of the CPA Letter Daily; Written by Emily Valla

 

 

 

Scammers are always looking for new twists on common scams,
especially when it comes to phishing emails. These emails are meant to
trick you into clicking a link and either providing personal information
or downloading viruses or malware.

 

 

The Better Business Bureau has learned that a new version of this
con is circulating as an email alert supposedly about the accounting
software QuickBooks. While anyone may receive this email, scammers are
specifically targeting small businesses.

 

 

Here’s how this scheme works. You receive an email with the subject
line “QuickBooks Support: Change Request.” The message is “confirming”
that you changed your business name with Intuit, QuickBooks’
manufacturer. However, you never made such a request. You think it must
be a mistake, but fortunately the email contains a link to cancel.

 

Pause before you click that. Scammers know you didn’t
make this request. The link is simply bait. It downloads malware to your
device, which scammers use to capture passwords or hunt for sensitive
information on your machine. This can lead to identity theft.
Similar
scams also impersonate personal-tax software or banks. Always be wary
of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments.

Here are some other ways to spot phishing messages:

  • Check the reply email address. One
    easy way to spot an email scam is to look at the reply email. The
    address should be on a company domain, such as jsmith@company.com.
    Especially for major companies, be wary of generic addresses from free
    email providers.
  • Check the destination of links. Hover
    over them to see where they lead. Be sure the link points to the
    correct domain (www.companyname.com), not a variation, such as
    companyname.othersite.com or almostcompanyname.com. Scammers can get
    creative, so look closely.
  • Consider how the organization normally contacts you. If
    an organization normally reaches you by mail, be suspicious if you
    suddenly start receiving emails or text messages without ever opting in
    to the new communications.
  • Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers
    try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information
    in their fake emails. Be especially wary of messages you have not
    subscribed to or companies you have never done business with in the
    past.
  • Don’t believe what you see. Just because an email looks real doesn’t mean it is. Scammers can fake anything from a company logo to the “Sent” email address.
  • Have a process in the office. Make
    sure employees know to not click links in unexpected emails. Tell them
    who they should ask if they seek to verify emails they’re uncertain
    about, and encourage them not to make “quick fixes” that could be
    costly.

 

 

To learn more about the Estimated Taxes, call Malia Wollerson at (318) 429-2111 or email mwollerson@hmvcpa.com.
For more information on the services available to you by Heard, McElroy
& Vestal, LLC, call our Shreveport office at (318) 429-1525,  our
Monroe office at (318) 388-3108 or visit www.hmvcpa.com.
Emily Valla, emily.valla@thebbb.org, is the Idaho marketplace director for the Better Business Bureau Northwest. To check a business or report a scam, go to www.bbb.org or call (208) 342-4649.
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