Tax-refund phishing scam targets college students and staff, IRS warns

Tax-refund phishing scam targets college students and staff, IRS warns

Visoot Uthairam | Moment | Getty Images

The IRS warned Tuesday of a tax-refund phishing scam targeting college students and staff who believe they have a pending tax refund.

Con artists are using fake e-mails to impersonate the federal tax agency.

The messages display the IRS logo and use subject lines like “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.”

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The phishing scam primarily appears to prey on educational institutions that use a “.edu” e-mail address. It asks targets to click a link and submit a form to claim their refund.

The website asks taxpayers to provide personal information like Social Security number, name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and electronic tax-filing PIN.

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

Identity theft and other scams have surged over the past year during the Covid pandemic. Criminals have used stolen personal data to file fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits en masse, for example.

The IRS extended tax season by a month to May 17.