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Business Consumer Alliance Blog

IRS Refund Scam Targets Colleges

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Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) wants to alert college students and staff about a recent round of scams targeting users with email “.edu” addresses. College students, faculty, and staff are receiving emails to their “.edu” email addresses, claiming to have “tax refund payment” information. Beware, it’s a scam. All these imposters really want is to get their hands on personal information in order to commit fraud.

Watch out for emails asking you to click a link to claim your Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refund. If you click the link, you’ll be directed to a website that asks for personal information. This data includes your Social Security number (SSN), date of birth, prior year’s annual gross income, driver’s license number, address, and electronic filing PIN. All the information a scammer needs to commit identity theft.

Even if the email looks real, don’t fall for it. The crooks use crafty tactics like using the IRS logo or spoofing email addresses to convince you the emails are legitimately coming from the IRS. But you should know that the IRS will not contact you first by email. They will mail a letter first. If you get any communication claiming to be from the IRS, contact the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040.

Scam emails can be forwarded to the IRS at You should also warn others by sharing this blog and telling those you know about the scam. Doing so can save someone from becoming a victim of identity theft. You can also report scams to BCA so we can warn the public.

For more information on recovering from identity theft, check out BCA’s info graphic “Recovering from Identity Theft”.

recovering from identity theft

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Tax Refund Scam Alert

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About Business Consumer Alliance Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.