Monday, March 5, 2018

IRS Warns Taxpayers about New Refund Scam

The IRS has alerted taxpayers of a new scam in which criminals deposit fraudulent tax refunds into an individual's bank account and then attempt to reclaim the funds. They accomplish this by (1) hacking tax practitioners' computers to steal taxpayer data; (2) using the stolen information to file fraudulent tax returns; (3) having the refunds deposited into the taxpayers' bank accounts; and (4) telling the victims the money was mistakenly deposited into their accounts and asking them to return it. Criminals may pose as debt collection agency officials acting on behalf of the IRS, or the taxpayer may receive an automated call purportedly from the IRS. The IRS encourages victims of this scam to follow the procedures outlined in Tax Topic Number 161— Returning an Erroneous Refund. Also, taxpayers should immediately discuss the issue with their financial institutions and tax preparers. IRS Tax Tip 2018-32.