IRS warns of new identity theft scam that comes through the mail

Mail Scam

The IRS is warning of a new identity theft scam intending to make you believe you are owed a refund. This one comes through the mail, but has many of the hallmarks of email and text scams.

It involves a mailing that comes in a cardboard envelope from a delivery service. The IRS says the enclosed letter includes the IRS masthead and wording that the notice is “in relation to your unclaimed refund.”

The IRS says that, like many scams, the letter includes bogus contact information and a phone number. And like many scams, it seeks personal information including detailed pictures of drivers licenses that can be used by identity thieves to try and get your tax refunds or other sensitive financial details.

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“An unusual feature of this scam is that it tries tricking people to email or phone very detailed personal information in hopes of stealing valuable information,” the IRS says.

Like many text or email scams, the letters use odd punctuation and a mixture of fonts.

Some of the language in the mail scam includes requests like:

“A Clear Phone of Your Driver’s License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting.”

The IRS says the letter also asks for more sensitive information including a cell phone number, bank routing information, Social Security number and bank account type, followed by an oddly-worded warning:

“(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”

And there are inaccuracies. For example, the letter says the deadline for filing tax refunds is Oct. 17. But the deadline for people on extension for their 2022 tax returns is actually Oct. 16.

The IRS also says those owed refunds from last year have time beyond that and that the IRS handles tax refunds, not “unclaimed property.”

The IRS reminds Americans it never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media regarding a bill or tax refund. And don’t click on any unsolicited communication claiming to be from the IRS. It may contain malware.



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