Tax scam has new twist to watch out for

February 19, 2018 11:38 AM

(NBC) If a big, fat refund check from the IRS unexpectedly shows up in your mailbox or gets deposited into your bank account, do not try to cash it.

"Now, that's not your money and if you don't actually return it to the IRS, you could get in trouble," says tax lawyer and writer for Forbes, Kelly Phillips Erb.

Tax lawyer Kelly Phillips Erb calls herself the "Taxgirl" and says if this happens, you are likely a victim of the latest tax scam.

Thieves file a bogus return using your identity, have the refund sent to you or your account, then call to try to con you out of it.

Erb says they either pose as IRS or as a debt collector associated with the IRS. They will tell you that there is a refund that you are not entitled to that is in your account or in your mailbox and they give you instructions to return it but it gets returned to the thieves instead of the IRS.

According to Erb, the IRS just detected the scam around February 1st, after a few hundred complaints from taxpayers. 

It is important to remember that the IRS will never contact you by phone.

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