You may have heard of the IRS phone scam by now, where someone calls claiming to be an IRS agent, and usually claims you owe money. But a Bridgetown, Ohio man was just targeted by a new twist on the old IRS scam, that could be much more convincing.
John Darwish was enjoying his summer in his garden, when he received an email from the IRS that confused and startled him. "It looked official," he said The email, with IRS logos at the top and bottom, claimed a "third round of economic impact payments are now available."
Fraudsters are mailing taxpayers what looks like a cardboard envelope from a delivery service. The accompanying letter—complete with a fake IRS masthead—suggests that the notice is "in relation to your unclaimed refund." The letter includes bogus contact information and phone number that are not associated with the IRS.
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The letter advises potential victims to provide "Filing Information" to receive a tax refund. This includes awkwardly worded requests for you to provide additional details such as "A Clear Phone of Your Driver's License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting."
Important Reminders about Scams
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Taxpayers and tax professionals should be alert to fake communications posing as legitimate organizations in the tax and financial community, including the IRS and states. These messages can arrive in the form of an unsolicited text or email to lure unsuspecting victims to provide valuable personal and financial information that can lead to identity theft, including phishing and smishing. The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media regarding a bill or tax refund. https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing