Last week, the IRS warns about a phishing scam that has been on college students and staff of educational institutions expecting to receive pending tax refunds, The warning was published last week after the tax agency received reports that government’s firstname.lastname@example.org email received numerous complaints related to impersonation scams that have been generally targeting persons whose email addresses with “.edu”.
How the Tax Refund Phishing Scam is Being Perpetuated
Using fake emails supposedly coming from the tax agency, which included logos to make their messages more believable, scammers sent notices that made references to “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.” and “Tax Refund Payment”. The fake email also asked the recipients to click on a link to a fake website where they will fill out the necessary info to facilitate the processing of their claims for a tax refund.
In filling out the form, the victims were required to provide the usual personal information like first and last name, present address complete with info about city and state, postal code and date of birth, Since the form looked legitimate, the victims were also dupped into providing their Prior Year Annual Gross Income (AGI), Social Security Number, Driver’s License and IRS Electronic Filing PIN.
While other taxpayers might also receive this kind of emails,the IRS warns not to click on the link in the email but instead report it to the government agency. They can also save the email and simply forward it to email@example.com since the investigators from the IRS Criminal Investigation and from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) are already looking into this latest phishing scam..
Action That Refund Victims Have to Take
In order to prevent the scammers from having unauthorized access to the IRS accounts that were compromised as a result of the phishing scam, the IRS recommends for the victims to immediately acquire an Identity Protection (IP) PIN.
An IP PIN can prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using the victim’s name, as it requires a different set of a six-digit password. Taxpayers who believe they still have a pending tax refund to claim, can check the status of their claim through the IRS website via the “Where’s My Refund?”/Refund page.