You’d have to be a real early bird to be expecting your income tax return in the United States already. And yet, we’ve begun to see phishing scams that appear to come from email@example.com and offer links where you can check the status of your return.
The message uses language straight from the IRS website and goes something like this:
You filed your tax return and you’re expecting a refund. You have just one question and you want the answer now – Where’s My Refund?
Access this secure Web site to find out if the IRS received your return and whether your refund was processed and sent to you.
To get to your refund status, you’ll need to provide the following information as shown on your return:
Your first and last name
Your Social Security Number (or IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
Your Credit Card Information (for the successful complete of the process)
This email is a scam. Don’t respond and don’t send them any personal information.
Here are several common scam techniques that this message and others might use:
- Looking like a large organization or company. The text and images in this email were stolen from the IRS website and make the email look legitimate.
- Requests for personal or financial information. The IRS does not ask for personal information like this in email.
- Bad grammar or spelling. The only part of the email that was not copied from the IRS website was the section requesting credit card information. It’s no coincidence that this is also the section with grammatical and spelling errors.
If you receive a message like this, delete it or report it. Learn more about how to recognize, avoid, and report scams like this one.