INDIANAPOLIS—A brand new scam is tricking people into giving up their personal information.
The Internal Revenue Service says this latest scam arrives to your mailbox or front door in a cardboard envelope.
Inside the envelope is a letter with the IRS logo and language about your “unclaimed refund.”
The letter asks you to provide “filing information” in order to get your refund and lists a number to call.
However, the IRS says the number is bogus and sends you right to scammers who want to collect sensitive financial information from you like your Social Security number, bank routing information and cellphone number.
"The letter also include lots of grammatical errors,” said Stacy Engle, an IRS spokesperson based in Indianapolis. “They ask for random things like a photo of your driver's license or a photo of your phone and weird items the Internal Revenue Service would never ask for."
The scam letters also have other mistakes like claiming the tax filing deadline is October 17. It's actually October 16, but only for people who have filed an extension.
The letter may also include 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.”
· “(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”
If you fall for this scam, you’re at risk for identity theft.
“You’ve provided your social security number, your phone #, your address to potential scammers that could set you up for lots of identity theft issues,” said Engle.
If you get one of these letters, just rip it up and trash it.
However, if you’re in doubt, contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040. You can also report scams at email@example.com.
Just a reminder- the IRS says they will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media regarding a bill or tax refund.
If you've been a victim of a tax scam, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.