Warning: Watch Out for New IRS Refund Mail Scam

If you receive a cardboard envelope appearing to be from the IRS about an unclaimed tax refund, be cautious. It’s a new scam.

pile of junk mail for IRS unclaimed refund scam
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's a new IRS scam to watch out for. Some people are receiving cardboard envelopes in the mail containing the IRS masthead and the wording: “in relation to your unclaimed refund.” Monday, the agency warned that the mailings are a scam to trick taxpayers into providing sensitive information to thieves. The IRS says it “never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media regarding a bill or tax refund.”

  • The fake letters contain false contact details and ask for personal and financial information, such as a detailed photo of your driver's license. 
  • Identity thieves can use this information to commit fraud. 
  • According to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, this is one of many scams used by criminals who pretend to be from the IRS. 
  • The IRS releases a yearly list of the top twelve "dirty dozen" scams taxpayers should know.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

As the senior tax editor at Kiplinger.com, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.