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IRS Scam Alert

Posted: February 16, 2018

The IRS issued a warning to taxpayers this week of a quickly growing scam involving erroneous tax refunds being deposited into bank accounts. 

Criminals are adding a new twist on an old scam. After stealing client data and filing fraudulent tax returns, these criminals use the taxpayers' real bank accounts for the refund deposit.  Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers. 

In one version of the scam, criminals posing as debt collection agency officials acting on behalf of the IRS contact the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error, and they ask the taxpayers to forward the money to their collection agency.

In another version, the taxpayer who received the erroneous refund gets an automated call with a recorded voice saying he is from the IRS and threatens the taxpayer with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a “blacklisting” of their Social Security Number.  The recorded voice gives the taxpayer a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

If you receive an erroneous refund, you should immediately notify your tax preparer and follow the steps the IRS has published for Returning an Erroneous Refund.  Following is a link to that publication: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc161  

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