The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a warning this week notifying those affiliated with higher education institutions of an ongoing email scam that appears to be primarily targeting those who have “.edu” email addresses.
The agency, in a release posted Tuesday, said it has received numerous complaints about the scam in recent weeks, noting that the emails to those with addresses ending in “.edu” have been targeting staff and students from both public and private, for-profit and nonprofit institutions.
The phishing emails, as they are commonly referred to, display the IRS logo and use various subject lines attempting to trick unsuspecting recipients, such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment,” according to the IRS.
The scam emails prompt recipients to click a link and submit a form to claim their tax refund, then taxpayers are asked to provide personal information such as their names, date of birth, social security number, and other personal details.
Those who receive this scam email should not click on the link in the email and instead report it to the IRS. For those who may have fallen victim to the scam, the IRS recommends obtaining an Identity Protection PIN, which helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns in the victim’s name.
The IRS added that taxpayers who believe they have a pending refund should check the status only on the agency’s website, IRS.gov.
Publication Date: 3/31/2021