The Internal Revenue Service is warning about a tax refund scam from IRS impersonators who are targeting those who work at colleges and universities, as well as their students.
People with email addresses ending in .edu have been reporting email phishing attempts in recent weeks. The attempts appear to target staff members and students at all types of institutions -- public, private, nonprofit and for-profit.
Emails display the IRS logo and feature subject lines like “Tax Refund Payment” and "Recalculation of your tax refund payment." They ask recipients to click a link and submit a form that includes sensitive information.
Those receiving such messages should not click on the links in the messages, according to the IRS.
The IRS published a set of instructions for sending copies of the phishing emails to authorities. Those instructions also cover what to do for those whose tax returns are rejected because someone has already filed a return with their Social Security number.
Anyone who thinks they might have provided information to identity thieves as part of this phishing attempt can also opt in to a voluntary PIN program that can help stop thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns.
The phishing attempts are seeking the following information:
- Social Security number
- First name
- Last name
- Date of birth
- Prior year annual gross income (AGI)
- Driver's license number
- Current address
- State/U.S. territory
- ZIP code/postal code
- Electronic filing PIN