In its press release dated July 3rd (IR-2023-123), the IRS, in conjunction with State taxing authorities and participating private organizations of tax professionals, is warning the public of a new tax scam where targeted individuals are receiving "tax refund notices" enclosing a letter that includes on IRS letterhead stating that the notice is "in relation to your unclaimed refund."
Like many tax and identity phishing scams, this latest fraudulent tax scheme solicitation involves an "IRS letter" that includes contact information and a phone number that does not belong to the IRS. However, what differentiates this particular tax scam is that it seeks a variety of sensitive personal information from taxpayers – including detailed pictures of their driver's licenses – that can be used by identity thieves to obtain tax refunds and commit other types of financial fraud.
This letter contains a variety of warning signs, including odd punctuation, poorly worded phrases, and a mixture of fonts as well as inaccuracies. The letter advises 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 to request more sensitive information including a 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 more information regarding other common tax scams to be wary of, please consult the IRS Dirty Dozen list, updated annually.
Taxpayers can report this and other scams through the Report Phishing and Online Scams page at www.IRS.gov, or email the IRS to email@example.com. The report should include the caller ID (email or phone number), date, time and time zone, and the number that received the message.
If you believe that you are the victim of tax identity theft, reach out to a qualified IRS Tax Attorney or other IRS Tax Professional for assistance.