Beware of Fake IRS Tax Refund Scams

by on 04/03/2010 in Scams & Hoaxes, Security

Beware of Tax Refund ScamsThe tax season is here and the deadline for filing is less than two weeks away. If you receive an email from the IRS, it’s a bogus e-mail. The email looks like the real deal, but the IRS will never, ever send you an email about a tax refund.

The email tells the recipient that they’re eligible to receive a tax refund for a given amount. It instructs the recipient to click on a link contained in the e-mail to access and complete a form for the tax refund. The form requires the entry of personal and financial information.


How to Spot a Scam

Some email scams are very sophisticated, but here are a few things to look for;

  • An email that requires personal and/or financial information, such as name, SSN, bank or credit card account numbers.
  • An email asking you to participate in an IRS survey.
  • An email that comes in a form of penalties if you do not respond.
  • Many of these scams come from overseas and are written by non-English speakers. Look out for incorrect grammar or spelling errors.
  • An email that doesn’t have a link to the actual IRS Web site address ( To see the actual link address, or URL, move the mouse over the link included in the text of the e-mail.

How to report a scam:

The IRS does not initiate taxpayer contact via unsolicited e-mail or ask for personal identifying or financial information via e-mail. If you receive a suspicious e-mail claiming to come from the IRS, take the following steps:

  • Do not open any attachments to the e-mail, in case they contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
  • Do not click on any links, for the same reason. Also, be aware that the links often connect to a phony IRS Web site that appears authentic and then prompts the victim for personal identifiers, bank or credit card account numbers or PINs.
  • Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine whether the IRS is trying to contact you.
  • Forward the suspicious e-mail or URL address to the IRS mailbox, and then delete the e-mail from your inbox.

Be careful and don’t forget that the deadline for filing is on April 15, 2010.

Read other scams & hoaxes here.

9 Responses to “Beware of Fake IRS Tax Refund Scams”

  1. John Soares

    Apr 3rd, 2010

    Excellent advice about not only fake IRS scams, but all scams.

    I get at least a half-dozen e-mails a day — mostly in my spam folder — from people trying to trick me into giving them important personal information.

    And you had to remind me that I haven’t started my taxes yet. I’ll start Monday.

    • Frank Jovine

      Apr 3rd, 2010


      You are absolutely correct. This applies to most scams.

  2. Trouitre

    Apr 4th, 2010

    Thanks you for your article.
    Nice informations ;)

    • Frank Jovine

      Apr 4th, 2010

      You are welcome and I am glad I could help.

  3. Taxes?????

    Apr 4th, 2010

    […] Beware of Fake IRS Tax Refund Scams | […]

  4. Andrew@BloggingGuide

    Apr 6th, 2010

    Thank you for this warning. Spammers actually try to blend in with what’s happening during the season. A really smart move but if we’re made more aware we’ll definitely be smarter. Thanks again.

  5. income tax

    Apr 9th, 2010

    i end up paying unnecessary penalties for filing late taxes

  6. timethief

    Apr 20th, 2010

    Thanks for the heads up. The internet if rife with scams these days and I shake my head in wonder when people get taken in by them. That’s just on of the reasons why blogs like yours play such an important role.

    • Frank Jovine

      Apr 20th, 2010

      Thanks dear! I also commented on the guest post and I hope you understand why I said what I said, if that makes sense. :)