The IRS is warning of a new mailing scam attempting to mislead individuals into providing sensitive information to identity thieves. According to the IRS, the scam involves a mailed cardboard envelope with an enclosed letter. This letter includes the IRS masthead and wording that the notice is “in relation to your unclaimed refund” (IR 2023-123).
The letter requests the taxpayer to send them “filing information” to obtain their “unclaimed refund.”
Included in the letter is contact information and a phone number that does not belong to the IRS. The letter displays many of the red flags common in other types of identity theft scams, including odd punctuation, a mixture of fonts used, and various other inaccuracies.
While this new scam is similar to many traditional mailing fraud schemes, this one is unusual in the detail and variety of information requested, including cell phone numbers, pictures of driver’s licenses, social security numbers, and bank information. Identity thieves intend to collect this information so they may steal your identities and money, including your tax refunds.
It is also unusual, in that it is very similar to actual IRS Notices that are currently being sent out to verify 2022 return information.
An official notice will arrive in a white window envelope, NOT a cardboard envelope, and it will NOT refer to an “unclaimed refund.”
Please be on alert for attempts from identity thieves to obtain your sensitive personal information.
The IRS will never contact taxpayers by email, text, or social media regarding a bill or tax refund. Never click on unsolicited communication claiming to be from the IRS as it may allow hackers to upload malicious malware and ransomware to your device. If you are unsure of the authenticity of any communication received, contact your tax advisor.