New IRS imposter scam targets college students, staff members, FTC warns

Scammers tricking recipients with ‘.edu’ email addresses

SAN ANTONIO – A new scam targeting college educators and students is hitting inboxes and tricking recipients into giving up their personal information.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning college students, faculty and staff members about the new IRS imposter email scam targeting those with “.edu” email addresses.

The scam goes like this -- an IRS imposter will send you what’s called a phishing email that’s made to look like it has information about your “tax refund payment.” What the scammers really want is your personal information.

The FTC says scammer emails will ask you to click a link to submit a form to claim your “refund.” The form asks for personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth, annual gross income, driver’s license number, address and electronic filing PIN.

Once the scammers have your information, they can use it or sell it for identity theft.

While these emails may look real, the FTC says one thing always stays true -- the IRS will always contact you by sending a letter in the mail first.

To make sure the person on the other end is part of the IRS, contact the agency directly by calling 800-829-1040 before giving up any personal information.

If you clicked on a link in these phishing emails and shared your information, file a report with identitytheft.gov.

If you spotted this scam, forward the email to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

Click here to watch more stories from our consumer series, “Money: It’s Personal,” which airs Tuesdays on GMSA@9.


About the Author: