The IRS and Security Summit Partners have issued a warning about a new scam that misleads people into thinking they should receive a refund. Those impacted received a cardboard envelope from a delivery service, which contains a letter featuring the IRS header and wording describing an “unclaimed refund.”
Similar to most financial and tax-related scams, the letter includes a phone number and other contact information that are not related to the IRS. It seeks personal and sensitive information from recipients, including photographs of driver’s licenses, that scammers can use to obtain tax refund information and other sensitive financial details.
According to the IRS Commissioner, this scam is one of many attempts by identity thieves to trick individuals into providing their personal information. When taxpayers share this vital information with unauthorized persons, including those posing as IRS officials, they run the risk of having their identities stolen, along with other valuable things.
Scams can come via special mailings, email, or text. Watch for red flags that indicate these efforts are not coming from the IRS. One specific red flag to look for is awkward phrasing. For example, the letter received by one taxpayer included this line: “A clear phone of your driver’s license that clearly displays all four (4) angles, taken in a place with good lighting.” Run-on sentences, odd punctuation, and confusing wording often indicate that a letter is not coming from the IRS.
Remain vigilant when reviewing documentation that seems to come from the IRS or other financial or government agencies. As a reminder, nearly all communication with the IRS is done via mail. The IRS rarely, if ever, requests taxpayers to make contact via phone calls or text messages.
This article is informational and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Consult with an employment lawyer or accountant for additional clarification on how these changes impact your company.