Important Tax Fraud Alert

Returning an erroneous refund

Just days into the start of the 2018 filing season, the IRS identified a new scam in which cybercriminals have stolen client data obtained from certain tax filing resources, and who then file fraudulent refunds using real taxpayer information, including bank account and routing information for direct deposit.

The fraudsters then contact the taxpayer posing as an employee of a debt collection agency working on behalf of the IRS. They ask the taxpayer to take certain steps to return the bogus refund, but actually the refund goes to the criminals.

The IRS advises taxpayers to contact the financial institution where the direct deposit was received and have them return the bogus refund to the IRS. The IRS also asks the taxpayers to call the IRS toll-free at (800) 829-1040 (individual) or (800) 829-4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.