The IRS has warned of the latest scam in which taxpayers receive a letter that comes in a cardboard envelope via delivery service and is designed to make people believe that they are owed a refund. The agency said there is an IRS masthead on the letter, and it claims to be “in relation to your unclaimed refund.”
How can taxpayers identify this scam?
- Contains fake contact information for the IRS
- Seeks sensitive taxpayer information including:
- Detailed pictures of driver’s license
- Cellphone number
- Social security number
- Bank routing information and account type
- Words messaged strangely such as:
- “A Clear Phone of Your Driver’s License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting.”
- “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”
- Uses odd punctuation and a mixture of fonts
- Includes inaccurate information on tax return deadlines
Taxpayers can get legitimate mail from the IRS through regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. It should also be noted that the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers via email, text or social media.
How can taxpayers help prevent fraud?
- Stay informed
- Review the annual IRS Dirty Dozen list
- Review regularly updated Tax Scam Consumer Alerts
- Avoid clicking links on unsolicited communication
- Report scams to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on the IRS website for complete 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,” IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “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.”