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New Scam Alert: IRS Warns of Fraudulent Email Targeting Moreno Valley Taxpayers

Moreno Valley taxpayers should be on the lookout for emails containing the IRS logo or other official-looking branding.

New Scam Alert: IRS Warns of Fraudulent Email Targeting Taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is cautioning taxpayers about a dangerous new email scam that aims to deceive individuals into believing they are owed a refund. To carry out this scheme, criminals are utilizing cardboard envelopes delivered by a reputed delivery service. These envelopes contain a letter with an IRS header, making it appear official, claiming that it is regarding an unclaimed refund.

How the Scam Works

Like many scams, this fraudulent letter provides contact information and a non-IRS phone number. However, it goes beyond that by requesting sensitive personal data from taxpayers. In particular, it seeks detailed images of driver's licenses, which can be exploited by identity thieves to commit tax refund fraud and gain access to other sensitive financial information.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel characterizes this as one of the latest in a long series of attempts by identity thieves to imitate the IRS in order to deceive individuals into disclosing valuable personal information, leading to identity and monetary theft, including tax refunds. These scams can arrive through email, text messages, or even traditional mail. Vigilance against IRS scams is crucial, and individuals should be on the lookout for telltale signs.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to This Scam

To protect against tax-related identity theft and scams like this, the Security Summit, a collaboration between the IRS, state tax administrators, and the nation's tax industry, consistently advises individuals to safeguard their personal information.

This new scam exhibits numerous warning signs similar to other email and text message schemes. However, one distinctive aspect is its intention to manipulate people into providing highly detailed personal information via email or phone, with the aim of stealing valuable data.

The letter instructs recipients to furnish "Filing Information" for their refund, including a succinctly worded (A clear phone number of your driver's license clearly showing all four (4) angles, taken in a location with good lighting.) request. It further seeks additional sensitive details such as cell phone number, bank routing information, Social Security number, and bank account type. Unfortunately, a poorly worded warning concludes the letter.

Recognizing and Reporting The Scam

The signs of a scam are evident within the letter, including irregular punctuation, font variations, and inaccurate information. For instance, the letter states that the deadline for filing tax refunds is October 17, whereas the actual deadline for individuals on extensions for their 2022 tax returns is October 16. Additionally, individuals with refunds from the previous year have additional time. It is also vital to note that the IRS handles tax refunds, not "unclaimed property."

Conclusion: Stay Informed and Stay Safe

Take heed of these critical alerts and exercise caution. Protect your personal information, remain aware of red flags, and stay vigilant against these deceptive IRS scams.

Real Example of a fake IRS email

Actual image of an email that a client received.


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