In a recent announcement, the IRS has raised an alarm regarding a newly identified tax refund scam that is being sent to taxpayers through traditional mail. This deceptive scheme aims to deceive unsuspecting individuals by creating the illusion of an owed refund, as revealed by the tax agency. Enclosed within a cardboard envelope, the fraudulent letter displays an IRS masthead and claims to pertain to an unclaimed refund.
Within the letter, recipients will find contact details; however, it is crucial to note that the provided phone number does not belong to the IRS. Disturbingly, the scam letter cunningly requests recipients to share personal information, such as images of their driver’s license. The IRS has issued a stern warning against complying with such requests, emphasizing that sharing driver’s license images can open the door to identity theft. Furthermore, individuals are coerced into divulging additional sensitive data, including their cellphone number, bank routing information, Social Security number, and bank account type.
Latest Tax Refund Scam Alert Issued by the IRS
IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel cautioned that this latest occurrence is part of a persistent series of identity theft attempts wherein fraudsters impersonate the IRS to deceive individuals into providing valuable personal information, ultimately leading to identity and financial theft, including tax refunds. Commissioner Werfel emphasized that these fraudulent schemes can manifest through various channels, including email, text messages, and even specialized mailings. It is imperative for people to remain vigilant and recognize the unmistakable warning signs that expose these scams as fraudulent activities orchestrated by impostors pretending to be the IRS.
One clear indication that should raise suspicion is the employment of clumsily-worded requests within the deceptive letters. For instance, the inclusion of peculiar phrases like “A Clear Phone of Your Driver’s License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting” serves as a red flag, signaling the inauthentic nature of the communication.
The fabricated letter falsely asserts that the submission of personal details is necessary to facilitate the issuance of your refund. Delving into suspicious territory, the fraudulent communication states, “These Must Be Given to a Filing Agent Who Will Help You Submit Your Unclaimed Property Claim,” followed by an instruction to monitor your email for further correspondence from said agents.
Individuals should exercise extreme caution and refrain from clicking on any unsolicited communication purporting to originate from the IRS
Aside from the unusual choice of wording, the letter exhibits irregular punctuation and employs a combination of disparate fonts. Moreover, it contains inaccurate information regarding tax return deadlines, adding to its dubious nature.
It is crucial to note that the IRS exclusively employs legitimate correspondence via physical mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Genuine mail from the IRS can indeed reach taxpayers through this conventional method. However, it is essential to remain cautious, as the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers via email, text messages, or social media platforms.
According to the agency, individuals should exercise extreme caution and refrain from clicking on any unsolicited communication purporting to originate from the IRS. To combat phishing scams, taxpayers are encouraged to report such instances to email@example.com. Additionally, scams can be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or the Internet Crime Complaint Center. To stay informed and protected, the IRS consistently updates a comprehensive list of scams that specifically target taxpayers.
For those seeking to ascertain the status of their tax refund, several options are available. Interested individuals can visit the IRS Where’s My Refund Page, utilize the dedicated mobile application, or contact the IRS via phone to obtain the necessary information.