Scams are nothing new. Although, scammers are adapting and adjusting their tactics to continue outsmarting those they attack. And IRS impersonators are nothing new. In fact, I’ve received calls on numerous occasions from the “IRS.” It’s often an automated voice saying that authorities have been looking for me. Hate it break it to them, but I wouldn’t be that hard to find! Despite many attempts to end these scams, there’s now a new scam involving a text about an IRS tax refund or tax rebate.

The text may look legitimate. But remember, these scammers are constantly getting trickier, and smarter.  The text will mention a “tax rebate” or “refund payment.”  There will also be a link included. The FTC wants you to know these are FAKE!

This is a phishing scam.  If you click the link, you risk identity theft or malware.

Received one of these texts? If you did, and you clicked the link, the FTC recommends you file a report at IdentityTheft.gov. You’ll get a customized recovery plan, according to what information you shared.  Even if you didn’t click the link, you can still report the IRS impersonator scams at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Here are a few tips from the FTC if you’re contacted about a rebate or refund:

  • Don’t click links in texts from unknown numbers. And definitely don’t share personal information with anyone who reached out unexpectedly.
  • The IRS will not call, email or text the first time they try to contact you. They always send a letter first.  Want to confirm? Call the IRS: 800-829-1040.
  • Pending refunds can be found on the official IRS website: Where’s My Refund?
  • Unsolicited texts or emails that claim to be the IRS should be reported.  You can screenshot or email attachments to phishing@irs.gov.

These days, it’s best to question everything! I have received texts from family members that even looked suspicious, where they forwarded or sent referral links.  I always reach out to them directly to confirm if they sent it or not.  You can never be too cautious. And just remember, a text about an IRS tax refund… is fake!