(NEXSTAR) – Amid the onslaught of text and email scams, there’s a new tactic targeting your bank account, the Internal Revenue Service warns, and it uses old-fashioned physical envelopes.
The choice of a mailer is likely by design as the IRS doesn’t contact taxpayers by email, text message or social media channels to ask for personal or financial information.
The scam mailer shows up in a cardboard envelope from a delivery service, and the letter inside has the IRS masthead and the wording “in relation to your unclaimed refund.” However, instead of getting you a refund, the letter goes on to request detailed information that identity thieves themselves can use to file for a tax refund or access other financial information.
“This is just the latest in the long string of attempts by identity thieves posing as the IRS in hopes of tricking people into providing valuable personal information to steal identities and money, including tax refunds,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in a news release.
The IRS says that one unusual aspect of the scam is that it uses a physical mailer to lure taxpayers into emailing or calling to provide sensitive information under the guise of “filing information.” That information includes one’s driver’s license number, cellphone number, Social Security number, bank account type and bank routing information.
Thankfully, this new scam, like so many others, has some glaring red flags. For instance, the wording and punctuation are poor:
“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”
Font choices vary, and the stated filing deadline, IRS telephone number and contact information are wrong.
For more information on known IRS scams see the Dirty Dozen list.