IRS Warns Taxpayers Against New Mailing Scam (IR-2023-123) (Jul. 5, 2023)


The IRS has warned taxpayers against a new mailing scam trying to mislead them into believing they are owed a tax refund. The new scam can come in through email, text or mailing coming in a cardboard envelope from a delivery service including a letter with the IRS masthead and wording claiming that the notice is in relation to the taxpayer’s unclaimed refund. Taxpayers have been warned to look out for signs such as fake contact information of the IRS, seeking sensitive taxpayer information including detailed pictures of driver’s licenses, cellphone number, bank routing information, social security number and bank account type, a poorly worded message, including odd punctuation and a mixture of fonts as well as inaccuracies. The IRS has further reminded taxpayers that these sensitive personal information from taxpayers can be used by identity thieves to try to obtain a tax refund and other sensitive financial information while reassuring that the IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media regarding a bill or tax refund.

In addition, the IRS and Security Summit partners reiterated the regular warning to taxpayers about common scams, including the annual IRS Dirty Dozen list. As an additional reminder, the IRS has alerted taxpayers to avoid clicking on unsolicited communication claiming to be the IRS as it may be surreptitiously load malware or it may also be a way for malicious hackers to load ransom-ware which may keep the legitimate user from accessing their system and files. Finally, scams should be reported by sending the email or a copy of the text/SMS as an attachment to and should include the caller ID (email or phone number), date, time and time zone and the number that received the message. Taxpayers can also report scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The Report Phishing and Online Scams page in the IRS website provides complete details. The Federal Communications Commission’s Smartphone security checker is a useful tool against mobile security threats.