IRS warns university students, staff of impersonation email scam

National News

A computer programmer or hacker prints a code on a laptop keyboard to break into a secret organization system.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants university students and staff to be aware of an ongoing scam impersonating the federal agency.

The phishing emails appear to target university and college students from both public and private, profit and non-profit institutions with “edu” email addresses.

The scam emails display the IRS logo and use subject lines such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.” It asks people to click a link and submit a form to claim their refund.

The phishing website requests taxpayers provide their:

  • Social Security Number
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Prior Year Annual Gross Income (AGI)
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Current Address
  • City
  • State/U.S. Territory
  • ZIP Code/Postal Code
  • Electronic Filing PIN

People who receive this scam email should not click on the link in the email. Instead, individuals should report it to the IRS.

For security reasons, the IRS suggests saving the email using “save as” and then send that attachment to phishing@irs.gov or forward the email as an attachment to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers who believe they may have provided identity thieves with their personal information should consider immediately obtaining an Identity Protection PIN. The IRS says this is a voluntary opt-in program. An IP PIN is a six-digit number that helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns in the victim’s name. 

Individuals who attempt to e-file their tax return and find it rejected because a return with their SSN already has been filed should file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, to report themselves as a possible identity theft victim.

Taxpayers who believe they have a pending refund can easily check on its status at “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov. 

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