Be Aware of Fradulent Tax Refund Scam | Bennett Thrasher Skip to main content
Bennett Thrasher and others have received reports of a new scam that involves fraudulent tax refunds being deposited by scammers into taxpayers’ bank accounts. Once these funds are deposited, the scammer attempts to reclaim the refund from the individual taxpayer. The basic scam works like this:
  • Criminals hack a taxpayers’ personal data through phishing or other schemes
  • The thieves use the stolen data to file a tax return, posing as the taxpayer
  • Refunds are deposited into the taxpayers’ bank account, following the criminal’s request
  • The thieves contact the taxpayer and pretend to be the IRS. They inform the taxpayer that the money was deposited in their account by mistake, and demand that they return the refund.
Other variations of this scam include criminals posing as a debt collection agency acting on behalf of the IRS. The thieves contact the taxpayer and report that a tax refund was deposited to them in error, and ask that the taxpayer send the refund to their collection agency. Another modified version of this scam involves the taxpayer who received the refund getting an automated phone call from a caller claiming to be from the IRS. The caller threatens the taxpayer with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a “blacklisting” of their social security number. The recording then provides a fake case number and telephone number to call in order to return the refund.
Legitimate IRS authorities will not contact you via phone or email to ask for personal or financial information and will not demand payment without first mailing you a bill. Do not give out personal information including banking information in an unsolicited phone call or email. Never reply to, or click on links from an unfamiliar or unexpected source. The IRS provides clear directions for how to act if you receive an erroneous refund, which can be found here. The IRS also encourages taxpayers who have an erroneous refund to contact their financial institutions, as bank accounts may need to be closed due to fraud.
If you receive an erroneous tax refund, we encourage you to contact your BT Tax Advisor immediately by calling 770.396.2200.

Click here to learn more about this scam.


This scam is the newest of the IRS Dirty Dozen list of scams. Other scams on this list to be aware of include:
  • Identity Theft
  • Phishing
  • Phone Scams
  • Return Preparer Fraud
  • Fake Charities
  • Inflated Refund Claims
  • Excessive Claims for Business Credits
  • Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns
  • Falsifying Income to Claim Credits
  • Abusive Tax Shelters
  • Frivolous Tax Arguments
  • Offshore Tax Avoidance

Contact Us

If you have questions or need assistance with any tax-scam related concerns, contact your BT Tax Advisor by calling 770.396.2200.

Learn More