GREENSBORO, N.C. —
Most folks have a least two email accounts. Maybe one is for work, one is for home, you might even have one for junk emails.
Right now, scammers are targeting anyone with a .edu email. If you work or go to an educational institution, the IRS has a warning for you. This week, the IRS released this announcement: The IRS is warning university students and staff of an impersonation email scam.
Here's how it works:
You get an email that looks like it's from the IRS, it even may have the logo, and the subject line is something like ‘Tax Refund Payment’ or
“Recalculation of your Tax Refund Payment’.
The email asks you to click a link to submit a form to claim your refund.
When you click the link, you'll be asked for anything and everything from your Social Security number, driver's license, and your Electronic Filing Pin, which only you and the IRS are supposed to know. It's what keeps you from being hacked. Of course, if you share it with the scammer who is posing as the IRS-- you're hacked.
“Scammers are good at their game, they can act like a legitimate business. They can act like a government agency, they make the phone number that calls you that believes to be that agency, because they can do caller ID spoofing, they can make fake websites, they're advertising on social media platforms,” says Bryan Olgelsby of the Better Business Bureau.
If you got this email:
For security reasons, save the email using "save as" and then send that attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org or forward the email as an attachment to email@example.com. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and IRS Criminal Investigation have been notified.
If you clicked the link and you think you're an ID Theft victim: Taxpayers who believe they may have provided identity thieves with this information should consider immediately obtaining an Identity Protection PIN. This is a voluntary opt-in program. An IP PIN is a six-digit number that helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns in the victim's name.
If you don't know if you got this email, but you tried to file your taxes and your return is rejected because your Social Security number has already been used: File a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit PDF, to report themselves as a possible identity theft victim. See Identity Theft Central to learn about the signs of identity theft and actions to take.