Why CPAs Need to Worry about Cyber Crime (Especially in Tax Season)

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And what to do about it.

By Kenneth J. Mackunis
Aon Affinity

Why worry? The quick answer: Client files are worth large sums of money! A CPA’s confidential client data, such as names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, provide a target-rich environment for thieves.

Tax refund fraud is the No. 1 cyber crime facing CPAs today, according to the AICPA. Criminals use stolen records to file phony tax returns and receive refunds. The IRS issued 1.1 million refunds to people using stolen Social Security numbers in 2012, which resulted in fraudulent tax refunds of $3.6 billion.