A group of senators is urging the IRS to take action on the possible use of artificial intelligence (AI) in scams targeting taxpayers and tax professionals.
The four senators, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (DN.H.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel warning about the use of artificial intelligence technology, including ChatGPT, “to generate persuasive and personalized scams aimed at robbing Americans by accessing their personal financial information.” The purpose of the letter was to encourage the IRS to educate taxpayers and tax professionals about these tax scams and offer ways to avoid becoming a victim.
“In previous tax filing seasons, many fraudulent messages could be identified by misspellings, grammatical errors, and inaccurate references to the tax code,” the Senators wrote. “In contrast, the tax scams generated by new artificial intelligence tools are professionally composed and specifically designed to fool vulnerable taxpayers.”
The Senators referred to a politician report where a threat intelligence manager at a cybersecurity company asked ChatGPT to produce an example of a tax scam email containing malware. The result was a “grammatically unsullied email about the Employee Retention Credit that asked the recipient for their Employer Identification Number, payroll information, and a list of their employees and their social security numbers.” When asked for an example of a call that could be used to educate seniors about tax scams, ChatGPT produced a transcript between a scammer posing as an IRS agent pressuring a senior into paying a tax false tax debt.
This prompted senators to ask Werfel how the IRS was preparing for a potentially significant increase in scams generated by emerging AI technologies, including deepfakes and chatbots, such as ChatGPT. The senators also had additional questions, including whether the IRS has received reports of AI-generated scams and whether the agency has an estimate of the total dollar amount associated with these scams.
There was no deadline on the letter of May 1, 2023, but the Senators indicated that they were waiting for a response.
you can read the letter here.