IRS impersonators have been around for a while. But as more people get to know their tricks, they’re switching it up. So instead of contacting you about a tax debt and making threats to get you to pay up, scammers may send you a text about a “tax rebate” or some other tax refund or benefit. Here’s what to know about the new twist.
The text messages may look legit, and mention a “tax rebate” or “refund payment.” But no matter what the text says, it’s a scammer phishing for your information. And if you click on the link to claim “your refund,” you’re exposing yourself to identity theft or malware that the scammer could install on your phone.
If someone contacts you about a tax rebate or refund:
- Never click on links in unexpected texts. Don’t share personal information with anyone who contacts you out of the blue. Always use a website or phone number you know is real.
- Know that the IRS won’t call, email or text to contact you for the first time. They’ll always start by sending you a letter. If you want to confirm, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
- Find the status of any pending refund on the IRS official website. Visit Where’s My Refund.
- Report unsolicited texts or emails claiming to be the IRS. Forward a screenshot or the email as an attachment to email@example.com.
If you clicked a link in one of these text or emails and shared personal information, file a report at IdentityTheft.gov to get a customized recovery plan based on what information you shared.
Even if you didn’t lose money to an IRS impersonator scams, tell us about it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
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My phone is filled with nothing but scammers! All my texts are scams an my emails i also get phone calls from. Scammers acting to be funds recovery!! I have a problem believing anything online anymore! My identity is all over the darkweb i dont know if anything us being done about it! All ofmy bank accounts have been compromised! An laundered through an i get locked out an account closed! I also have class action lawsuits! But not sure if im getting scammed for that too! Can someone please help! I have no income at all? They are taking everything from me !!
Thank you for this information
This is WONDERFUL advice, I may tattoo on my forehead as I seem to run into many "link clickers" during my day.
Just curious, would be interested in knowing of some actual success by your agency in arrests or prosecution of scammers, etc.