“Where’s My Refund” Scam Surfaces

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It seems that every time a government agency tries to make information more accessible, a scam playing off that new accessibility surfaces. The IRS is now warning that it’s “Where’s My Refund?” web tool has been co-opted into an Internet email scam.

The real “Where’s My Refund?” tool enables individuals to trace their refunds online. Individuals expecting a refund enter their Social Security number, filing status and exact amount of refund shown on their return. The “Where’s My Refund?” tool searches for the individual’s refund and advises the taxpayer of the status of his or her refund.

In the scam, taxpayers are redirected to a website called “Get Your Tax Refund!” where criminals steal the victims’ identities and financial information.

The “Get Your Tax Refund!” web site copies the appearance of “Where’s My Refund?” However, unlike the real web site, “Get Your Tax Refund!” asks for confidential personal financial information. Individuals are instructed to reveal their Social Security numbers along with credit card numbers. Instead of entering the amount of refund shown on their return, “Get Your Tax Refund!” asks individuals to enter their credit card numbers, which are then stolen by identity thieves.

If you receive a “Get Your Tax Refund!” e-mail or any suspicious e-mails claiming to be from the IRS, you can forward those emails to phishing@irs.gov, or you can reach the IRS branch that investigates groups or individuals impersonating the IRS at (800) 366-4484.

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