Fake Refund Email from the Internal Revenue Service

Fake Government Agencies
IRS Scams - Fake Refund Email from the Internal Revenue Service
"Subject: Get Your Annual Tax Refund"

Have you received an email from the IRS, telling you that "Get Your Annual Tax Refund"; then  instructing you to "access the form for your tax refund, click here"?

It is a scam.  The IRS will never, never email you unless you first contact them.  They WILL NOT EVER email you to tell you you owe money or are due to receive a refund; or for any other reason. Count on it.

If you hold your mouse over the link to IRS.gov/refunds, you would see that it does NOT go to the IRS, but instead to a page on a school district website.

Sample Scam FBI Email:

April 6, 2009, CFR received the following email:

From: "Internal Revenue Service"<refunds@irs.com>

Date: May 5, 2008 11:56:02 AM EDT

Subject: Get Your Annual Tax Refund


After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $109.30.Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here

Internal Revenue Service



Copyright 2008, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A..


The link in the email (click here ) actually goes to http://saisd.us/irs/index.html.

It appears to belong to the San Augustine Independent School District.

According to Who.is, that domain was privately registered at:

Domain ID:                                   D12544494-US
Sponsoring Registrar:                        DOTSTER
Domain Status:                               ok
Registrant ID:                               DOT-5NK403OX5AFM
Registrant Name:                             Nathanel Boucher
Registrant Address1:                         high school drive
Registrant City:                             Saint Augustine
Registrant State/Province:                   TX
Registrant Postal Code:                      759572
Registrant Country:                          United States
Registrant Country Code:                     US
Registrant Phone Number:                     +1.9362752306
Registrant Email:                            nboucher@san-augustine.k12.tx.us

Why were you redirected to this page? When we visited this site, we found it may be designed to trick you into submitting your financial or personal information to online scammers. This is a serious security threat which could lead to identity theft, financial losses or other dissemination of personal information.

Clearly, this email is criminal activity intended to steal your money!

The San Augustine Independent School District is/was probably unaware that their website was being used for this scam.  We suspect the scammers hacked into their website.


If you receive a call from this number or any group that claims to represent a government agency, take down their information, including the contact's name, phone number, etc. Do NOT give them any personal or financial information, especially not a credit card, checking or bank account number, passport number, etc.

Next, look up the direct phone or email address for the agency they claim to represent and call them.  Read them the email and ask if it could have come from their agency.

While we don't want to encourage people to ignore correspondence from legal government agencies, it is a safe bet that NO U.S. government agency will make any first contact with you by email. Certainly not the FBI or IRS.

The IRS offers this advice:

If you receive an unsolicited e-mail purporting to be from the IRS, take the following steps:

  • Do not open any attachments to the e-mail, in case they contain malicious code that will infect your computer.
  • Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine whether the IRS is trying to contact you about a tax refund.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!

How to Report a Tax Refund Scam Email:

If you receive a suspicious e-mail that claims to come from the IRS,

  1. Forward it to the IRS (phishing@irs.gov and
  2. Send a copy to ConsumerFraudReporting.org (via the feedback form)
  3. Please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov and

Follow instructions in the link below for sending the bogus e-mail to ensure that it retains critical elements found in the original e-mail. The IRS can use the information, URLs and links in the suspicious e-mails you send to trace the hosting Web site and alert authorities to help shut down the fraudulent sites. Unfortunately, due to the expected volume, the IRS will not be able to acknowledge receipt or respond to you.

In the United States, you may also contact:

U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Room 942
Washington, DC 20223

Phone: (202) 4355850

Fax: (202) 4355031

Or contact the local U.S. Secret Service Field Office.

Frequently Asked Questions - 1.13 IRS Procedures: Reporting Fraud

How to Report Abusive Tax Promotions and/or Promoters:
Complete the referral form  which documents the information necessary to report an abusive tax avoidance scheme. The form can be mailed or faxed to the IRS address and fax number on the form.

How to Report Abusive CPAs, Attorneys or Enrolled Agents:
Report suspicious actions by tax professionals to the email address  of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.



Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.



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