The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a warning to taxpayers to be on the lookout for a new scam that tricks people into thinking they are owed a refund. This new fraud comes through the mail in a cardboard envelope from a delivery service. The letter includes the IRS masthead but the contact information provided is NOT a legitimate IRS phone number.
The letter also requests sensitive, detailed information like a photo of your driver’s license, which may be used to steal your identity.
This particular imposter letter includes many red flags such as poorly worded messages, odd punctuation, a mixture of fonts and incorrect details like including the wrong extension deadline date.
Here are some reminders about the IRS. They will NEVER:
- initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media regarding a bill or tax refund
- call to demand payment with threats to involve law enforcement or have you arrested
- call or email asking you to divulge personal and/or financial information
- require payment without allowing you to appeal or even question the amount due
- require you to use a specific payment method like a pre-paid debit card
- ask for your credit/debit card and/or bank information over the phone
The IRS offers an option called Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) that assigns a unique six-digit code to eligible taxpayers that helps limit fraudulent tax returns. There is more information available at irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin.