The IRS released a notice on March 30, 2021 warning students and staff that they have received many complaints regarding recent emails, impersonating the IRS, targeted at educational institutions. The emails use the IRS name and logo, with a subject line indicating the recipient may be owed a tax refund.
The bogus emails are asking the recipient to provide sensitive information such as Name, Address, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Driver’s License, and income. This information then can be used to steal a person’s identity or file for a tax refund under the victim’s name. If you believe you are owed a refund, the IRS recommends you go to the “Where’s My Refund” page on their website, www.IRS.gov.
The IRS advises anyone who receives such an email to NOT click on the link in the email, but instead to report it to the IRS. To report such emails to the IRS, save the email using “save as” or forward the email as attachment to email@example.com.
To prevent identity theft, individuals can apply for an Identity Protection PIN, which helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns under the victim’s name.
Since this scam seems to be targeted at educational institutions, students and staff should be on high alert for these types of emails to prevent possible identity theft. If you are concerned that your personal data has been compromised, you can go to, https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-central to determine what steps should be taken.
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