The IRS says a monster scam is on the loose

Photo (c) Sarayut Thaneerat - Getty Images

'Unclaimed Property?' A dead giveaway.

If you get a cardboard envelope from a delivery service with a letter inside that has the IRS logo and wording that the notice is “in relation to your unclaimed refund,” feed it to the shredder immediately!

The IRS has released an all-points bulletin telling Americans that a new scam is on the loose – one so dangerous that the agency will add it to its "Dirty Dozen" list the next time it's published.

"This is just the latest in the long string of attempts by identity thieves posing as the IRS in hopes of tricking people into providing valuable personal information to steal identities and money, including tax refunds," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. 

"These scams can come in through email, text or even in special mailings. People should be careful to watch out for red flags that clearly mark these as IRS scams."

The IRS does not need a photo of your driver’s license

Typical of many scams, the letter includes contact information and a phone number that is not affiliated with the IRS. In addition to obtaining sensitive personal information from taxpayers, it also asks them for detailed pictures of their driver's licenses, which can be used by identity thieves to obtain a tax refund.

Specifically, the letter asks the recipients to provide "Filing Information" for their refund with a request that says: 

"A Clear Phone of Your Driver's License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting."

Did you notice the mistake? A clear “phone” of your driver’s license? Evidently, the scammers don’t use Grammarly.

Gimme, gimme

The letter continues to dig for all the personal data they can to con someone. There’s bank routing information, Social Security number and bank account type, and the taxpayer’s cell phone number, followed by another poorly worded warning:

"You'll Need to Get This to Get Your Refunds After Filing. These Must Be Given to a Filing Agent Who Will Help You Submit Your Unclaimed Property Claim. Once You Send All The Information Please Try to Be Checking Your Email for Response From The Agents Thanks"

See goof number 2? The IRS handles tax refunds, not "unclaimed property."

The grammatical stupidity doesn’t stop there. The letter is also full of odd punctuation, a mixture of fonts, and obvious mistakes like saying that the deadline for filing tax refunds is Oct. 17 when the real extension deadline for people’s 2022 tax returns is actually Oct.16. Those owed refunds from last year have time beyond that. And the IRS handles tax refunds, not "unclaimed property."

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