Tax refund scam targets college students, staff

April 19, 2021

An ongoing IRS-impersonation scam is targeting students and staff at public and private, for-profit and nonprofit educational institutions who have “.edu” email addresses.

Fake emails ask you to claim your tax refund

According to the IRS, the fake email message tells taxpayers they can easily check on a pending refund status at “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov.

The suspicious email also displays the IRS logo and uses various subject lines such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.” It asks the receiver to click a link and submit a form to claim the refund.

Do not click the link in the email or provide any of the following personal and confidential information at the phishing website such as:

  • Social Security number
  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Prior year annual gross income (AGI)
  • Driver's license number
  • Current address
  • Electronic filing PIN

The IRS does not send unsolicited emails. If you receive this scam email, don’t open it. Instead, either forward it as an attachment or save the email using “Save as,” then send the attachment to phishing@irs.gov.

Take other steps to protect yourself

If you think you may have given away personal information, consider getting an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) immediately. An IP PIN is a six-digit number which can help prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns in your name. 

If you’ve already attempted to e-file your tax return and find it rejected because a return with your Social Security number already has been filed, complete and submit an Identity Theft Affidavit, to report being a possible identity theft victim.

Visit the IRS’ Identity Theft Central to learn about the signs of identity theft and actions to take. In addition, your Credit Union is here to help with step-by-step tips to report and recover from identity theft.

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