In recent weeks, the IRS has received numerous complaints about phishing attempts targeting students and employees of higher education and nonprofit institutions with email addresses ending in .edu. The ongoing scam attempt, the IRS said, involves luring recipients of the phony emails — which contain subject lines like “Tax Refund Payment” or” Recalculation of your tax refund payment” — to a website that asks for a broad set of personally identifiable information. Among the credentials, the malicious site asks for name, dates of birth, home addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and income.
Last month the IRS warned tax professionals of a phishing campaign that tries to steal electronic filing identification numbers, which accountants use to transmit their clients’ tax returns. The IRS’s recent warning to university students and staff recommends reporting any apparent phishing attempts. It also suggests that anyone who believes they filled out the malicious form apply to the IRS for an identity protection PIN, a six-digit code that the agency says is known to the IRS and the individual taxpayer.