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Important Tax Fraud Alert

by Rebecca Loughin | Feb 20, 2018
Only a few days into the filing season, the IRS has already identified a new scam that began with cybercriminals stealing data from several tax practitioners’ computers and filing fraudulent tax returns.

The Department of the Treasury has issued an important tax fraud alert regarding a new scam this filing season. 

Only a few days into the filing season, the IRS has already identified a new scam that began with cybercriminals stealing data from several tax practitioners’ computers and filing fraudulent tax returns.

In a new twist, the fraudulent returns in a few cases used the taxpayers' real bank accounts for the deposit. A woman posing as a debt collection agency official then contacted the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error and asked the taxpayers to forward the money to her.

This newest scam also serves as a reminder to taxpayers that they should be alert to any unusual activity such as receiving a tax transcript or tax refund they did not request. Please review the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft for appropriate actions. 

Taxpayers who receive a direct deposit refund that they did not request should take the following steps:

  1. Contact the Automated Clearing House (ACH) department of the bank/financial institution where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS.

  2. Call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.

  3. Keep in mind interest may accrue on the erroneous refund

Learn more.