(WTTV/WXIN) — The Internal Revenue Service is warning Americans about a widespread scam that is using some old-school tactics to trick victims into giving up private, sensitive information.
The scam is so big and bad that the IRS plans to put it on its “Dirty Dozen” list of top scams.
As part of the scam, a taxpayer receives a cardboard envelope in the mail with the IRS logo on it. A label on the envelope reads “in relation to your unclaimed refund.” A letter in the envelope lists contact information including a phone number that doesn’t really belong to the IRS.
The letter asks for sensitive information in order for the taxpayer to claim a refund that doesn’t really exist. Such information can include bank routing numbers, social security numbers, cell phone numbers and more.
It also requests a photo of your driver’s license, and that’s where you can spot a red flag in the way the request is worded.
It requests “a clear phone of your driver’s license that clearly displays all four angles, taken in a place with good lighting.” Of course, it should say “photo” instead of “phone.”
Another giveaway appears when the letter states, “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.”
The IRS doesn’t handle “unclaimed property.” It handles tax refunds.
There are more spelling and grammatical errors throughout the letter, which also gives the wrong date for the tax filing deadline.
The bottom line, according to the IRS, is that if you receive this letter in the mail, you should shred it right away. It’s completely fake.