Have you received an email or text message regarding your tax refund recently? If so, be careful.
The 2024 tax season has only just begun and IRS impersonators are already hard at work looking to scam people.
Scammers are sending emails and text messages about your "tax refund" or "tax refund e-statement" that look as official as it can get in hopes of tricking people into clicking on the image's link so that they can steal from you.
"They tell you to click a link — supposedly to check on your 'tax refund e-statement' or 'fill out a form to get your refund.' But it's a scam and if you click that link, the scammer might steal your identity or put malware on your phone or computer," states Larissas Bungo, senior attorney at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in a consumer alert.
Bungo also warned that the IRS will never contact you by email, text message or social media to get your personal information or financial information, "only scammers will."
Stopping tax refund scammers
Here are three things to do if someone contacts you about a tax refund, according to the alert:
• Never click on any links, which can put malware on your computer or phone, letting scammers steal from you.
• Check the status of any pending refund on the IRS official website. Visit Where's My Refund to see if you're really getting a refund.
• Share what you know. By telling your friends and family members about the scam, you can help protect your community.
Bungo advises people that clicked on the link from one of the messages, or shared personal or financial information to report it at identitytheft.gov in order to receive a free, customized recovery plan.
Report this scam or any other scam to the FTC at ReportFraud@ftc.gov.
The IRS will accept tax returns from the 2023 tax year beginning on Jan. 29 through April 15, 2024.