A new tax identity theft scam has popped up in 2018. The IRS is alerting taxpayers of this new refund scam where criminals are having incorrect refunds deposited into a taxpayers' bank account and then trying to get the refunds back. They are accomplishing this by:
- Hacking into a tax preparers’ computer system to steal personal taxpayer data, including their name, address, social security number, and bank account number.
- Using this stolen information to file fake tax returns, making up items of income and claiming a large refund.
- Having the refunds directly deposited into the taxpayers' bank account.
- Contacting the taxpayers and telling them that the refund deposit was made in error and they want it back.
They will then direct them to send the money to the scammers and not the IRS, threatening police action if they do not comply immediately. If you become a victim of this scam, contact your tax preparer and financial institution immediately. Then follow the procedures outlined by the IRS in Tax Topic Number 161 – Returning Erroneous Refunds, which can be found on the IRS’s web site, www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc161. Contact us at 1-866-287-9604 for more information.
Posted by Chris Hatcher, CPA/CFF, CFE, CVA, CGMA