We Share A Common Thread

IRS Warns of Tax Return Scam

The IRS has issued a tax fraud alert to warn consumers about a new tax return scam. Fraudsters are filing tax returns using victims’ information. The victims receive the erroneous refund (before filing their actual taxes) either by check or direct deposit. The scammer poses as an IRS agent or a debt collector and contacts the victims claiming they received a fake refund and they must send the funds back to the “IRS”. In some versions of the scam, the taxpayers who receive the erroneous refund get an automated call with a recorded voice saying he is from the IRS and threatens the victims with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a “blacklisting” of their Social Security Number. The recorded voice gives the victims a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund. When the victims send the funds back, they don’t send them back to the IRS, but to the scammer.

This scam has already impacted tens of thousands of people, and can have a devastating impact on victims, including identity theft, financial loss and a sense of violation. It’s extremely important to stay vigilant against these scams, and be extra careful in keeping your personal information safe and secure.

If you receive a suspicious direct deposit, you can protect yourself by doing the following:

  • Contact Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union at 978-452-5001 or visit a branch immediately. We will send the funds back to the IRS.
  • Call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.
  • Discuss the issue with your tax preparer.
  • Refer to the website Identity Theft for guidance on identity theft.

If you get a mailed check and haven’t cashed it, follow these steps:

  • Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  • Submit the check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.* The location is based on the city (possibly abbreviated) on the bottom text line in front of the words TAX REFUND on your refund check.
  • Don’t staple, bend or paper clip the check.
  • Include a note stating, “Return of erroneous refund check because (and give a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund check).”
  • Discuss the issue with your tax preparer.
  • Refer to the website Identity Theft for guidance on identity theft.

If you’ve cashed a false check, follow these instructions:

  • Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  • If you no longer have access to a copy of the check, call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business) and explain to the IRS assistor that you need information to repay a cashed refund check.
  • Write on the check/money order: Payment of Erroneous Refund, the tax period for which the refund was issued, and your taxpayer identification number (social security number, employer identification number, or individual taxpayer identification number).
  • Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund.
  • Repaying an erroneous refund in this manner may result in interest due the IRS.
  • Discuss the issue with your tax preparer.
  • Refer to the website Identity Theft for guidance on identity theft.

* For your fake paper refund check, here are the IRS mailing addresses to use based on the city (possibly abbreviated). These cities are located on the check’s bottom text line in front of the words TAX REFUND:

  • ANDOVER – Internal Revenue Service, 310 Lowell Street, Andover MA 01810
  • ATLANTA – Internal Revenue Service, 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee GA 30341
  • AUSTIN – Internal Revenue Service, 3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
  • BRKHAVN – Internal Revenue Service, 5000 Corporate Ct., Holtsville NY 11742
  • CNCNATI – Internal Revenue Service, 201 West Rivercenter Blvd., Covington KY 41011
  • FRESNO – Internal Revenue Service, 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno CA 93727
  • KANS CY – Internal Revenue Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City MO 64108-4302
  • MEMPHIS – Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN 38118
  • OGDEN – Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden UT 84201
  • PHILA – Internal Revenue Service, 2970 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104
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