IRS Warns Taxpayers About New ‘Unclaimed Refund’ Scam – Here’s How It Works

(NEXSTAR) – In the midst of an onslaught of text and email fraud, there is a new tactic targeting your bank account, using old-fashioned physical envelopes, the Internal Revenue Service warns.

The choice of mailer is likely by design, as the IRS does not contact taxpayers via email, text message, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

The fraud sender showed up from the courier service in a cardboard envelope with a letter inside, bearing the IRS masthead and the words “Regarding Unclaimed Refunds.” However, instead of asking for a refund, the letter asks for details that the identity thieves themselves can use to claim a tax refund or access other financial information.

IRS Director Danny Warfel said in a news release, “This is an attempt by identity thieves posing as the IRS to trick people into giving up valuable personal information to steal money, including personal information and tax refunds. It’s just the latest in a series of long-running attempts to do so.”

According to the IRS, one of the unusual aspects of this scam uses physical mailers to lure taxpayers into providing sensitive information via email or phone under the guise of “submission of information.” That’s it. That information includes your driver’s license number, mobile phone number, social security number, bank account type, and bank routing information.

Thankfully, this new scam, like many others, has some obvious red flags. For example, poor wording and punctuation.

“In order to receive a refund after filing, you will need to obtain this. These must be handed over to the filing agent who will assist you in filing your unclaimed property claim. Please check your email. Thank you.”

The font choices vary, and the filing deadlines, IRS phone numbers, and contact information listed are incorrect.

For more information on known IRS scams, please see: Dirty Dozen list. IRS Warns Taxpayers About New ‘Unclaimed Refund’ Scam – Here’s How It Works

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