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IRS warns of new tax refund scam

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers of a new scam being sent by mail asking for personal information.
IRS warns of new tax refund scam
Posted at 7:36 PM, Jul 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-03 20:36:03-04

Be careful what mail you're opening from the "Internal Revenue Service." 

The IRS warns a new scam is being mailed to taxpayers trying to trick them into thinking they're owed a tax refund.

The letter, which includes a fake IRS masthead, comes by delivery service in a cardboard envelope and says it's "in relation to your unclaimed refund." It also includes contact information not related to the IRS, like many other scams.

The note asks for the taxpayer's personal "filing information" through "awkwardly worded requests," like asking for "A Clear Phone of Your Driver's License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting." 

It also asks for the recipient's phone number, social security number, bank routing information and bank account type. That's followed by a warning saying, "You'll Need to Get This to Get Your Refunds After Filing. These Must Be Given to a Filing Agent Who Will Help You Submit Your Unclaimed Property Claim. Once You Send All The Information Please Try to Be Checking Your Email for Response From The Agents Thanks."

The IRS warns this information the scammers are asking for can be used by identity thieves to get the recipient's sensitive personal details.

"This is just the latest in the long string of attempts by identity thieves posing as the IRS in hopes of tricking people into providing valuable personal information to steal identities and money, including tax refunds," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. "These scams can come in through email, text or even in special mailings. People should be careful to watch out for red flags that clearly mark these as IRS scams."

Those red flags include the weird use of punctuation, mixture of fonts and inaccurate information, like an incorrect filing deadline and claiming the IRS handles "unclaimed property."

In the warning, the IRS also listed a reminder that it never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media about a tax refund or bill.

Remember, if you receive a scam from someone claiming to be the IRS, don't respond or open anything that seems suspicious. Forward the message to phishing@irs.gov if it's electronic, and check for any other scams on the IRS website.

SEE MORE: IRS says it still owes taxpayers $1.5 billion in 2019 refunds


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