New IRS Refund Scam

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IRS Scam alert

IRS has issued a warning to taxpayers about a recently discovered refund scam that is being sent through the mail. Read on to learn how to protect your personal information and avoid falling victim to identity theft.

Recognizing the IRS Refund Scam

The fraudulent letter arrives in a cardboard envelope, cleverly designed to deceive unsuspecting individuals into believing that they are entitled to a refund. The scam involves a letter bearing an IRS masthead, which claims to be a notification regarding an unclaimed refund. However, the IRS has confirmed that this communication is a deceptive ploy orchestrated by identity thieves.

Identifying Red Flags

To help you identify these fraudulent letters, here are a few key red flags:

  • Awkward Language: The scam letter often includes poorly worded requests, such as the unusual demand for “A Clear Phone of Your Driver’s License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting.”
  • Inaccurate Information: The letter may also contain incorrect details about tax return deadlines. Be cautious if you notice any inconsistencies regarding such crucial dates.
  • Unprofessional Formatting: Look out for odd punctuation, a mixture of fonts, or any other signs of unprofessional presentation. The scammers often lack the attention to detail exhibited by official IRS communications.

Avoiding the Scam and Protecting Your Information

The IRS emphasizes the importance of remaining vigilant against these scams and provides the following guidelines:

  • Genuine Contact Methods: The IRS only initiates contact with taxpayers through regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Be aware that the IRS will never contact you via email, text message, or social media.
  • Suspicious Communications: Refrain from clicking on unsolicited emails or messages claiming to be from the IRS. These are often phishing attempts designed to steal your personal information.
  • Reporting Scams: If you encounter a phishing scam, promptly report it to the IRS at [email protected]. Additionally, you can report scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  • Stay Updated: The IRS consistently updates a list of scams targeting taxpayers. Regularly check their website to stay informed about the latest scams and protect yourself accordingly.

Checking Your Refund Status

If you are genuinely interested in checking the status of your refund, you can take the following steps:

  • IRS Website: Visit the official IRS “Where’s My Refund” page for accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Mobile App: Utilize the IRS mobile application, available for download on various platforms, to conveniently track your refund status.
  • Contact the IRS: If you prefer a more direct approach, you can call the IRS to inquire about your refund status. Remember to use the official phone number listed on their website or in official IRS correspondence.

Identity theft is a serious concern, and it is crucial to remain vigilant against scams targeting taxpayers. By familiarizing yourself with the red flags associated with the IRS refund scam and following the recommended safety measures, you can protect your personal information and financial well-being. Stay informed, stay cautious, and safeguard yourself against fraudulent schemes. More on the subject read another TYS articles