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If you’re a college student, faculty, or staff member, you’re going to want to pay attention to this one. IRS imposters are sending phishing emails to people with “.edu” email addresses, saying they have information about your “tax refund payment.” What do they really want? Your personal information.

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BEWARE OF TAX-RELATED SCAMS

Tax-related scams have become increasingly common, and they happen year-round. Fraudsters will contact you pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a tax accounting service, or another tax-related agency. You could receive fake emails, phone calls, letters, or other communications.

What Should I Watch For?

Be on high alert for phishing emails, which attempt to steal information such as tax IDs, account information, passwords, and other valuable data. Be immediately suspicious of any unsolicited communication (email, text message, letter, or call) that asks for your Social Security number, login credentials, or other personal information.

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How Can I Avoid These Scams?

Here are some frequently asked questions that can help protect you from these tax-related scams:
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Q. Will the IRS contact me via email?

A. The IRS will never initiate contact with you via e-mail, text messages, or social media with a request for personal or financial data. Be extremely careful with any unsolicited email that claims to be from the IRS.

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Q. What should I do if I receive an email or text message claiming to be from the IRS or another tax service that asks for sensitive information?

A. Do not reply! Do not click on any links or download any attachments. Forward any IRS-related emails to phishing@irs.gov. Delete the original message without responding.
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Q. What should I do if I discover a website claiming to be the IRS that I suspect is not legitimate?

A. Do not click any links, download any files, or submit any information. Send the URL to phishing@irs.gov.

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Q. Are there any trusted resources I can use to identify email scams or websites claiming to be the IRS?

A. The IRS website highlights examples of email scams and bogus websites. Find this information online by typing the following URL into your web browser:

www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing
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Q. What should I do if I receive an unsolicited phone call or letter claiming to be from the IRS that I suspect may not be legitimate?

A. Contact the IRS yourself to confirm any requests made via phone or letter, particularly those that are threatening or demand immediate payment.

Visit www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing for phone numbers and other tips.

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Q. If I receive a suspicious tax-related email while at work, should I notify my company?

A. Yes! You should follow your organization’s guidelines for reporting suspicious emails. Your IT team can help you determine if a message is legitimate. In addition to confirming requests for your personal data, you should verify any email that asks you to provide copies of W-2 forms or your coworkers’ tax-related information.
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For more information, contact an eBranch Representative, visit your nearest branch or call us at (800) 537-8491.