• Don't lose your tax refund falling for this IRS scam: How to avoid it

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    sneaky scam involving tax refunds is spreading, and it means you need to keep a close eye on your bank account.

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    There are several variations of the scam: unexpected refund deposits to your bank account using compromised bank routing information, suspicious paper checks coming in the mail and, in one case reported in Maryland, a fraudulent refund check that appeared to have been deposited using a smartphone. 

    According to the IRS, the victim will then receive a call or recorded message saying they need to return the funds to a collection agency, which is actually the scam account. 

    If you pay the scammers, you will get a double-whammy hit to your bank account when the IRS or your bank realizes that the deposit was bogus and withdraws the funds.

    The number of victims jumped from a few hundred to a few thousand in just days after more tax practitioner data breaches, according to the IRS.

    The IRS has these recommendations to avoid getting scammed:

    If you notice a suspicious deposit, contact your bank to have the money returned to the IRS and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. 

    If you receive a paper check, write “void” in the endorsement field on the back and return it to the location printed on the check. 

    If you mistakenly cashed the erroneous refund check, submit a check for the full amount to the IRS location near you. 

    • ANDOVER – Internal Revenue Service, 310 Lowell Street, Andover MA 01810
    • ATLANTA – Internal Revenue Service, 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee GA 30341
    • AUSTIN – Internal Revenue Service, 3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
    • BRKHAVN – Internal Revenue Service, 5000 Corporate Ct., Holtsville NY 11742
    • CNCNATI – Internal Revenue Service, 201 West Rivercenter Blvd., Covington KY 41011
    • FRESNO – Internal Revenue Service, 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno CA 93727
    • KANS CY – Internal Revenue Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City MO 64108-4302
    • MEMPHIS – Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN 38118
    • OGDEN – Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden UT 84201
    • PHILA – Internal Revenue Service, 2970 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104

    File photo of a of a1040 individual income tax return for 2005. Americans are preparing for the income tax filing deadline next month whether using tax software, filing on the paper forms or using a tax preparer. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
    Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images
     

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