The IRS doesn’t send tax refunds by email or text

A sample of a scam email purportedly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Screen capture from web

GOT an email or text message about a tax refund? It’s a scam.

IRS impersonators are at it again. This time, the scammers are sending messages about your “tax refund” or “tax refund e-statement.” It might look legit, but it’s an email or text fake, trying to trick you into clicking on links so they can steal from you. How? 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.

If someone contacts you unexpectedly about a tax refund, the most important thing to know is that the real IRS won’t contact you by email, text message, or social media to get your personal or financial information. Only scammers will.

If someone does reach out, here’s what to do:

  • 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.

If you clicked on a link in one of these messages, or you shared personal or financial information, report it at IdentityTheft.gov to get a free, customized recovery plan.

If you see this or any other a scam, even if you didn’t lose money, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at [email protected](Atty. Larissa Bungo/FTC)

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