How the scam works:
You receive an email from the tax authority in your country (IRS in US, CRA in Canada, HMRC in UK, ATO in Australia, etc.). The message seems to be authentic, as it contains the organization logo, and came just a few days after you submitted your tax forms.
The text looks like this: "We received your tax return. However, we are unable to process the return. Our records indicate that the person identified as the primary taxpayer or spouse on the tax return did not provide all the required documents shown on the tax form. Our records are based on information received from the Social Security Administration. Based on this information, the tax account for the individual has been locked. Please print out the attached notification and list of missing documents, fill it in, add the documents and send the following information to the address shown in the attached notification."
Many people fall for this as the message comes right at tax time every year. Victims fill out the fake application and send it to the scammers, thinking it will go to IRS or CRA.
Watch the video below to see in action a different variation of the tax refund scam exposed:
How to avoid:
As in the Tax Refund Email scam, crooks are looking for all your personal information. Do not fall for this. Get professional accountants to do your taxes or official software, if you're gonna do it yourself.
How to report:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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