After struggling for ten months trying to teach myself about computer coding and (ethical) hacking, I'm sitting with my laptop, trying not to scream while attempting to remotely access my desktop computer that's less than a foot away. UGH! Why can't I just be smart enough to 'hack' into my own computer??
The IRS is warning taxpayers of a quickly-growing, new twist on an old scam involving erroneous tax refunds being deposited into their bank accounts.
The IRS issued an additional warning about the new scheme after discovering more tax practitioners’ computer files have been breached. In addition, the number of potential taxpayer victims jumped from a few hundred to several thousand in just days. The IRS Criminal Investigation division continues its investigation into the scope and breadth of this scheme.
These criminals have a new twist on an old scam; after stealing client data and filing fraudulent tax returns, these criminals use the taxpayers’ real bank accounts for the deposit. Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers, and their versions of the scam may continue to evolve.
Different Versions of the Scam
In one version of the scam, criminals posing as debt collection agency officials acting on behalf of the IRS contacted the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error, asking the taxpayers to forward the money to their collection agency.
In another version, the taxpayer who received the erroneous refund gets an automated call with a recorded voice saying he is from the IRS, then threatens the taxpayer with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a “blacklisting” of their Social Security number. The recorded voice gives the taxpayer a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.
REMEMBER: The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action.
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