CONSUMER ALERT - Abdul Raoof heard of the so-called IRS ccam. So when he received a phone call he told the person that he was going to hang up because he knew it was a scam. However, the person on the other end begged him not to.

Abdul knew to ask specific questions without giving away his personal information.

"Then he gave me the information about the check so I was confident that it was a legitimate call," Raoof said.

Turns out his tax refund check was taken from his mailbox and deposited into someone else's bank accounts.

"Somebody was fraudulently filing tax returns in individuals' names and using their personal identifying information without their knowledge or consent," Postal Inspector Emily Fuccillo said.

After tracking down the lost checks, inspectors realized it was a tax fraud ring that hit 400 victims who lost a total of $2 million.

"They were working together to negotiate these fraudulently filed tax return checks into various bank accounts," Fuccillo said.

Inspectors have simple advice:

  • File your taxes early. If someone tried to fraudulently get your refund, you claimed it first.
  • Shred all tax documents you no longer need
  • The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media

When it comes to anything that has to do with your personal information, never call the phone number the potential schemer gives you. Instead, go to the company's website and call that number.