Illustration for article titled That IRS Email To Your College Inbox Is A ScamPhoto: Tetiana Yurchenko (Shutterstock)

The IRS has issued one warning about a phishing scam targeting college staff and students, especially those with “.edu” extensions in their email. The scam uses fake IRS email templates to trick people into providing their personal information in order to request a “tax refund”.

Look what

The bogus emails have IRS logos on them and include subject lines such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculate Your Tax Refund Payment”. Recipients are instructed to click a link and submit a form to request their refund. However, the link actually takes you to a phishing website that is stealing personal information like your social security number, gross income, or IRS electronic login PIN. According to the IRS, the scam is targeting students and staff in public and private schools, especially if you have a .edu email address.

“These crooks know that many people are eagerly awaiting their tax refund and may not look closely to see who actually sent the email,” said Luis D. Garcia, an IRS spokesman, in one interview with the Detroit Free Press.

There are three ways the IRS can contact you: a letter in the mail, a phone call, or a personal visit (and even a phone call or personal visit would be preceded by a letter in the mail). So be careful with email or text messages as they are almost certainly a scam. If you received this scam email, do not click on any link or logo and report it to the IRS at If you want to know more about a pending refund, you can check its status Here.

G / O Media can receive a commission

Prevent theft with this IRS tool

If you’ve been a victim of identity fraud, the IRS recommends getting an identity protection PIN. An IP PIN is a secret six-digit number that is included on your tax return. It prevents identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns on your behalf. Check out this Lifehacker post). The anti-identity theft tool is available Here.