July 25, 2023
The IRS is warning taxpayers and tax professionals about a new scam that's making the rounds. Scammers are sending out cardboard envelopes that appear to be from a delivery service. The envelopes contain a letter with the IRS letterhead, claiming to be about an unclaimed tax refund.
But here's the catch: the letter includes contact information and a phone number that don't actually belong to the IRS. It asks recipients to provide sensitive personal information, such as bank account details and even detailed photos of their driver's licenses. This information can then be used by identity thieves to steal tax refunds and other financial information.
IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel has emphasized that this is just the latest attempt by identity thieves to pose as the IRS and trick people into revealing their personal information. These scams can come in different forms, including email, text messages, and even special mailings. It's important to be on the lookout for red flags that clearly mark these as IRS scams.
To combat tax-related identity theft and scams like this, the IRS has joined forces with state tax administrators and the tax preparation industry to form the Security Summit. They are urging people to protect their personal information and stay vigilant against these types of fraudulent activities.
This particular scam shares similarities with previous schemes seen in emails and text messages. However, it tries to deceive people into emailing or calling with detailed personal information, in an attempt to steal valuable data.
The scam letter asks recipients to provide "Filing Information" for their refund and requests a range of sensitive data, including a mobile phone number, bank routing information, Social Security number, and bank account type. However, the letter contains several warning signs, such as odd punctuation, a mix of fonts, and inaccuracies.
For instance, the letter incorrectly states that the deadline for filing tax refunds is Oct. 17, when in reality, the deadline for people on extension for their 2022 tax returns is Oct. 16. Additionally, the IRS doesn't handle "unclaimed property," as referenced in the letter, further revealing the inaccuracies.
So, if you receive a letter like this claiming to be from the IRS, be cautious. Remember that the IRS will never ask for sensitive information through email, text messages, or unsolicited phone calls. If you suspect that you've received a scam letter, report it to the IRS and your local authorities.
Stay vigilant and protect your personal information to avoid falling victim to identity theft and scams. Please contact your Faw Casson advisor with any notices regarding state or federal tax filings.