Tax-refund phishing scam targets college students and staff, IRS warns

Visoot Uthairam | Moment | Getty Images

The IRS warned Tuesday of a tax refund phishing scam targeting students and employees who believe a tax refund is pending.

Scammers use fake emails to impersonate federal tax authorities.

The messages display the IRS logo and use subject lines such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculate Your Tax Refund Payment”.

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The phishing scam appears to primarily target educational institutions using an “.edu” email address. It asks targets to click a link and submit a form to request their refund.

The website asks taxpayers to provide personal information such as social security number, name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and electronic tax return.

Taxpayers who believe they have a pending refund can see their status under “Where’s my Refund?” Check. on IRS.gov.

Identity theft and other scams have increased over the past year during the Covid pandemic. For example, criminals have used stolen personal information to file fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits en masse.

The IRS extended the tax season by one month to May 17th.

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