This week’s topic: Tax Season Scams
Tax season is here and there’s a strange new scam going around where cyber criminals are targeting your tax refund. It’s true, tax season is already stressful for many and now with cyber criminals pretending to be the IRS, things have gotten even more confusing.
In this scam, inaccurate refund amounts are deposited into your bank account. After the refund arrives in your account, a cybercriminal posing as the IRS or law enforcement contacts you in an attempt to trick you into transferring this money back to them.
In this week’s security tip video,
learn more about these scams and how you can avoid becoming the next victim:
Tax season is a huge opportunity for cyber criminals to carefully craft new scams to steal your money. The IRS has already released a warning about this new scam which involves inaccurate tax refunds being deposited into real taxpayer bank accounts.
These scammers use techniques to con taxpayers into turning over their tax refunds.
Here’s step by step how this tax scam works:
- Scammers phish for sensitive data from tax professionals
- Using this data, they file fraudulent tax returns
- Next, they use the tax payer’s real bank account to deposit a refund
- The criminals pose as the IRS or law enforcement contacting you the tax payer that there’s an error in your tax return and ask you to transfer the money back to them.
There have been reports that when a tax payer with an erroneous refund receives an automated call claiming to be from the IRS. The voice recording tells the tax payer that if they don’t pay back the money, they will have criminal fraud charges against them. Also threats that an arrest warrant and a blacklisting of their Social Security number. Finally, the voice recording also provides the victim with a case number and a phone number to call to return the refund.
If an erroneous tax refund was directly deposited to your bank account, contact the Automated Clearing House department of the bank or financial institution where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS.
If an erroneous tax refund was a paper check and hasn’t been cashed, write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check. Submit the check quickly to the appropriate IRS location.
The location is based in the city on the bottom text line. In front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check.
The IRS will not contact you by phone or email to discuss your account.
Remember, the sooner you file your taxes each season, the less likely you will be threatened by this type of scam.