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IRS discovers new twist on the IRS Tax Refund scam!

The IRS has discovered a new twist on the IRS Tax Refund scam that is utilizing the victims’ own bank accounts. We’re sharing this information to help you defend yourself against this scam.

This is how it works.

Cybercriminals steal data from several tax preparers’ computers. Using the data, the criminals then file fraudulent tax returns..

Here’s the twist: The fraudulent tax returns are deposited in the victim’s own bank account. 

The criminals pose as a debt collection agency and contact the victim to say a refund has been mistakenly deposited into their account and ask the taxpayers to forward the money to the fraudsters.

The IRS is advising that taxpayers who receive a direct deposit refund they did not request should take the following steps:

  • Contact the bank/financial institution where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS.
  • Call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.
  • Keep in mind interest may accrue on the mistaken refund.

The IRS also offers an online resource, the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, that is helpful to review.

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