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New IRS Scam Arriving in Cardboard Envelopes to Homes

Scammers are not taking a summer vacation. While most of us were enjoying the 4th of July holiday, the IRS and the Security Summit issued a warning to taxpayers on July 3, 2023, regarding a new scam involving a delivery to your home.

According to the news release, the scam involves a cardboard envelope that arrives via a delivery service. Inside the envelope is a letter on IRS masthead with information regarding “your unclaimed refund.” The contact information and phone number included in this scam letter does not belong to the IRS.

Warning Signs of a Scam

In this new scam, there are many warning signs that can be seen in similar schemes that arrive via email or by text. An unusual feature of this cardboard envelope scam is that it tries tricking people to email or phone very detailed personal information in hopes of stealing valuable information.

The letter tells the recipients they need to provide “Filing Information” for their refund as well as instructions for the recipient to provide personal identifiable information such as a photo of your driver’s license.

The request for a photo of your driver’s license has misspellings in the sentence, which is included below. You will notice the scam letter uses the word phone instead of photo.

“A Clear Phone of Your Driver’s License That Clearly Displays All Four (4) Angles, Taken in a Place with Good Lighting.”

Do Not Share Personal Identifiable Information

In addition to asking for photos of your driver’s license, the letter requests more sensitive information including cellphone number, bank routing information, Social Security number and bank account type.

The IRS provided a second example of the poorly worded letter:

“You’ll Need to Get This to Get Your Refunds After Filing. These Must Be Given to a Filing Agent Who Will Help You Submit Your Unclaimed Property Claim. Once You Send All The Information Please Try to Be Checking Your Email for Response From The Agents Thanks”

Grammatical Errors and Incorrect Dates

In addition to being poorly written, the letter contains grammatical errors and incorrect filing dates. This letter, as most scams, contains a variety of warning signs, including odd punctuation and a mixture of fonts and other inaccuracies.

Other examples provided by the IRS include: “the letter says the deadline for filing tax refunds is Oct. 17; the deadline for people on extension for their 2022 tax returns is actually Oct.16, and those owed refunds from last year have time beyond that.

Keep in mind that the IRS handles tax refunds, not “unclaimed property.”

Taxpayers Beware

“This is just the latest in the long string of attempts by identity thieves posing as the IRS in hopes of tricking people into providing valuable personal information to steal identities and money, including tax refunds,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “These scams can come in through email, text or even in special mailings. People should be careful to watch out for red flags that clearly mark these as IRS scams.”

Uncertain About IRS Correspondence?

If you are uncertain about correspondence received from the IRS, please contact us for guidance. Do not respond directly to the request and do not provide information over the phone.

Keep in mind that scammers are using many communication modes including letters, texts, emails or phone calls to question you about your tax refund, tax return or anything related to the IRS.

Finally, many of us have aging parents, relatives, or neighbors. Please take a moment to remind them about scammers so they do not fall prey to these predators.

Please call 215.675.8364 or email us to speak with an accounting professional today about this or any other topic related to your accounting, tax or advisory needs.

DISCLAIMER: The WM Update, WM Wednesday Wisdom, WM Daily Update, and other related communications are intended to provide general information, as of the date of this communication, and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.