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IRS Warns of New Scam Involving Unclaimed Refunds

July 18, 2023

Did you receive a cardboard envelope from the “IRS” requesting photos and bank account information to receive an unclaimed tax refund? This is a SCAM! Here’s what to look out for.

The IRS is warning taxpayers of a new scam regarding unclaimed refunds. If you receive a mailer from the IRS asking for personal or financial information—think twice before you take any action. Here are the warning signs.

What is the scam?

This scam comes in the form of a cardboard envelope from a delivery service. It includes a letter on IRS letterhead “in relation to your unclaimed refund”. The scam seeks several pieces of sensitive personal information including detailed pictures of the recipient’s driver’s license. Identity thieves can use this information to try to obtain a tax refund and other sensitive information.

Here are some indications that the letter is phony:

  • The letter includes contact information and a phone number that DO NOT belong to the IRS,
  • Awkwardly worded requests with odd punctuation and misplaced capitalization:
    • "A Clear Phone of Your Driver's License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting."
    • "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"
  • Mixture of fonts
  • Inaccurate information
    • The letter mentions a deadline of October 17th, which is false—the extended deadline is October 16th this year
    • Taxpayers who are owed refunds from last year have more time beyond October 16th
    • The IRS does not handle unclaimed property only tax refunds

Be aware:

  • The IRS sends notices and letters for the following reasons only:
    • You have a balance due.
    • You are due a larger or smaller refund.
    • They have a question about your tax return.
    • They need to verify your identity.
    • They need additional information.
    • They changed your return.
    • They need to notify you of delays in processing your return.
  • Never click on any online communication from the “IRS”
  • Never share account information or passwords through email
  • The IRS does not initiate contact by email, text or social media for bills or tax refund requests
  • Watch out for messages from “friends or family” that request money in a specific form- Call a friend or family member if it appears they sent you a message you’re unsure of—it could be a scammer in disguise!

What to do if you’ve received a letter:

If you receive a letter with the above errors or something that otherwise seems phony, do not call the number on the letter.

Scams should be reported to The IRS also has a main phone number, - 800-829-1040.

Wondering if you’ve fallen victim to a scam? Need help with your cybersecurity? We are happy to help you minimize risk. Contact us.

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