The IRS warned taxpayers to lookout for a new scam mailing that tries to mislead people into believing they are owed a refund.
The new scheme involves a mailing coming in a cardboard envelope from a delivery service. The enclosed letter includes the IRS masthead and wording that the notice is “in relation to your unclaimed refund.” Like many scams, the letter includes contact information and a phone number that do not belong to the IRS.
The letter seeks a variety of sensitive personal information from taxpayers – including detailed pictures of driver’s licenses – that can be used to by identity thieves to try obtaining a tax refund and other sensitive financial information.
There are many warning signs in this new scam that can be seen in many similar schemes via email or by text, including odd punctuation and a mixture of fonts as well as inaccuracies.
An unusual feature of this scam is that it tries tricking people to email or phone very detailed personal information in hopes of stealing valuable information.
The letter tells the recipients they need to provide “Filing Information” for their refund. This includes some awkwardly worded requests like this: “ A Clear Phone of Your Driver’s License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting .”
The letter proceeds for more sensitive information including cellphone number, bank routing information, Social Security number and bank account type, followed by a poorly worded warning: “You’ll Need to Get This to Get Your Refunds After Filing. These Must Be Given to a Filing Agent Who Will Help You Submit Your Unclaimed Property Claim. Once You Send All The Information Please Try to Be Checking Your Email for Response From The Agents Thanks ”
For example, the letter says the deadline for filing tax refunds is Oct. 17; the deadline for people on extension for their 2022 tax returns is actually Oct. 16, and those owed refunds from last year have time beyond that. And the IRS handles tax refunds, not “unclaimed property.”