TECHNOLOGY SECURITY ALERT: IRS Warns Postsecondary Institution Students and Staff of Impersonation Email Scam

Submitted by Rob Maddox Director- OSFA
April 19, 2021 - 9:43 am

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posted a warning of an ongoing IRS impersonation scam that appears to primarily target educational institutions, including students and staff of institutions that have ".edu" email addresses.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and IRS Criminal Investigation has been notified about the suspicious emails that display the IRS logo and use various subject lines, such as "Tax Refund Payment" or "Recalculation of your tax refund payment." The emails ask individuals to click a link and submit a form to claim their refunds.

The phishing website requests that taxpayers provide the following information:

  • Social Security Number (SSN)

  • First Name

  • Last Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Prior Year Annual Gross Income

  • Driver's License Number

  • City

  • State/U.S. Territory

  • ZIP Code/Postal Code

  • Electronic Filing PIN

 

The U.S. Department of Education encourages institutions to visit the IRS web page—irs.gov/newsroom/irs-warns-university-students-and-staff-of-impersonation-email-scam—which contains details about the phishing campaign. We also ask that you share the web page widely with students and staff to raise awareness about this scam.

Recipients of this scam email should not click on the link in the email, but they can report it to the IRS. For security purposes, recipients should save the email using the "save as" feature and send that file as an attachment or forward the email as an attachment to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers who believe they may have provided identity thieves with their information should consider immediately obtaining an Identity Protection (IP) PIN. An IP PIN is a six-digit number that helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns in a victim's name. This is a voluntary IRS opt-in program.

Taxpayers who attempt to e-file their tax return and find it rejected because a return with their SSN already has been filed should file an IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, to report themselves as a possible identity theft victim. To learn about the signs of identity theft and actions to take, visit the Identity Theft Central web page on irs.gov.