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November 27, 2022

Phishy Emails Purporting to Be from the AICPA Are Still Ridiculously Unbelievable

Back in February, a number of CPAs received a laughably fake email message that stated that "involvement in tax return fraudulent activity [by] one of your employees" could result in the cancellation of their CPA license and "The failure to respond within this term will result in withdrawal of your Accountant status."

Any CPA equipped with a sliver of professional skepticism, common sense, and a 3rd grade reading comprehension level undoubtedly found this phishy, promptly deleted the email and went about their productive day, reading Going Concern and whatnot.

But phishers, much like fishers, are a patient lot and willing to sit tight until they get a bite. Last week they tried again, sending out this ridiculous email:

Somehow, this effort has managed to be even more stupidly fake.

First off, the AICPA's bylaws do say that disciplinary action can be taken without a hearing, however, this can only occur after a criminal conviction or "other disciplinary action" so the cancellation of a license over "allegations" is wrong.

Secondly, here's Bylaw Section 760 in its entirety:

Notice of disciplinary action pursuant to section 7.3 or 7.4 or of termination of enrollment of a member or a member's firm in an Institute-approved practice-monitoring program, together with a statement of the reasons therefore, shall be published in such form and manner as the Council may prescribe. Council also may prescribe any additional disclosures regarding any matter within the jurisdiction of the professional ethics executive committee.

At least they had the right bylaw section last time

And finally, "Accountant license"? That was most obvious tell in the last attempt and there it is, still sticking out like a sore thumb. 

AICPA spokesman James Schiavone confirmed that this latest cast is from phishers and told us that they've included an alert on the website to notify anyone that's received it.

I'm sure they've received more phone calls from cranky CPAs than they care to discuss, so if there's a senior partner in your vicinity shouting about this email, kindly let them know that you'll be right in to show them how to delete it. 

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