Here’s how the latest tax refund theft scheme works, as described by an IRS agent I heard on a talk show:
Thieves steal your identity and file a fraudulent tax return claiming a refund, but instead of telling the IRS to direct deposit the refund to the thieves’ bank account, they tell the IRS to direct deposit the refund to your bank account. The thieves then call you pretending to be the IRS and tell you you’re in trouble for getting a fraudulent refund and you better send it to them right away. Of course, the place where the thieves tell you to send the refund give it to them, not back to the U. S. Treasury.
It sounds like it would be a lot easier for the thieves if they just directed the fraudulent refund to an account they set up instead of to your account, but I suppose that having the refund sent to your account (and then stealing it from you) puts them one step further away from the IRS.
Anyway, the news item about this scheme that appeared the same day I heard about it on the radio doesn’t explain the scheme as well as the IRS agent did on the radio, so I thought I’d help out. The news item does at least emphasize what I have said numerous times before: if the IRS thinks you have a problem with them, the first contact you receive from them will not be a telephone call.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.