Don’t lose your tax refund falling for this IRS scam, here’s how to avoid it

  • Rachel Murray ,
3:47 p.m Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 Nation World

sneaky new scam involving tax refunds is spreading, and it means you need to keep a close eye on your bank account.

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There are several variations of the scam: unexpected refund deposits to your bank account using compromised bank routing information, suspicious paper checks coming in the mail and, in one case reported in Maryland, it appeared a fraudulent refund check had been deposited using a smartphone. 

According to the IRS, the victim will then receive a call or recorded message saying they need to return the funds to a collection agency-which is actually the scam account. 

If you pay the scammers, you will get a double whammy hit to your bank account when the IRS or your bank realize that the deposit was bogus and withdraws the funds.

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The number of victims jumped from a few hundred to a few thousand in just days, after more tax practitioner data breaches, according to the IRS.

The IRS has these recommendations to avoid getting scammed:

If you notice a suspicious deposit, contact your bank to have the money returned to the IRS and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. 

If you receive a paper check, write “void” in the endorsement field on the back and return it to the location printed on the check. 

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If you mistakenly cashed the erroneous refund check, submit a check for the full amount to the IRS location near you.