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An IRS Warning About a New Tax Refund Scam



An IRS Warning About a New Tax Refund Scam

An IRS warning about a new tax refund scam.There’s a new IRS scam making the rounds, and taxpayers need to stay vigilant. Some individuals have reported receiving cardboard envelopes in the mail containing the IRS masthead and a message related to an “unclaimed refund.” The IRS has issued a warning, cautioning that these mailings are a scam designed to deceive taxpayers into providing sensitive information to criminals. It’s important to note that the IRS never initiates contact via email, text, or social media regarding tax refunds or bills.

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An IRS Warning About a New Tax Refund Scam

The fraudulent letters contain false contact details and request personal and financial information, including a detailed photo of the recipient’s driver’s license. Providing such information can expose individuals to identity theft and fraud. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel acknowledges that this is just one of the many scams employed by criminals impersonating the IRS. Each year, the IRS releases a list of the top 12 “dirty dozen” scams to alert taxpayers.

In its recent warning, the IRS advises taxpayers to be wary of awkward wording and inaccurate information that can indicate a scam. Here are a few examples:

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New IRS scam letter

Awkwardly worded requests “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 a Response From The Agents Thanks.”Despite requesting “filing information,” such as bank routing numbers, Social Security numbers, and cellphone numbers, these scam mailings should be reported to the IRS instead of providing the requested information.

IRS refund scam warning sign

Inaccurate information Another red flag to watch out for is inaccurate information in the scam letters. For instance, the scam letter falsely states that the deadline for filing tax refunds is October 17, whereas the actual IRS deadline this year is October 16. Additionally, the scam mentions the IRS handling “unclaimed property,” whereas the agency deals with unclaimed refunds. It’s important to note that this particular scam is unrelated to legitimate unclaimed tax refunds that may be available at the IRS for those who didn’t file a federal income tax return in 2019.

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Approximately $1.5 billion in unclaimed tax refunds remain at the IRS due to taxpayers not filing their 2019 tax returns. Many individuals might have overlooked or forgotten about these refunds during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure they don’t miss out, taxpayers have until July 17, 2023, to file their 2019 tax returns if they believe they are due a refund.

How to contact IRS Support

What to do if you receive a scam IRS letter If you receive this letter or any other suspicious mailing or email, it’s crucial not to respond or click on any links in the case of an email. Instead, contact the IRS using the following methods:

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  • Send the email or a copy of the text or letter to [email protected].
  • Report scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or the Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3). Visit the IRS Tax Scams: How to Report Them website page for more information.

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