In the second scam, fraudsters are posting as IRS debt collectors saying that the IRS mistakenly deposited tax refunds into their bank accounts and ask the taxpayers to return the money. The fraudsters contact taxpayers via phone and mail and may threaten taxpayers with having their social security numbers “blacklisted” or they may state that you could go to jail.
The fraudsters might also combine these schemes, first by filing an erroneous return in a taxpayer’s name, having the refund deposited into the taxpayer’s account, and then trying to get the taxpayer to send the fraudster the money.
The IRS has specific guidelines for returning an erroneous refund, which can be found in Topic Number 161 here. If you believe you have received a tax refund in error, follow these procedures and do not fall for a fraudster’s scam. You should also notify your bank in case your bank accounts need to be closed. Also notify your tax return preparer so that they can help you to file your correct income tax return with the IRS.