IRS Impersonation Scam Targeting College Students

by Megan Hiles
Illustration depicting data phishing and hacking

College and university students should be on alert for an IRS-impersonation scam targeting educational institutions, including anyone with a .edu email address.

The phishing scam sends the recipient an email that looks like it comes from the IRS and has a subject line like “Tax Refund Payment” or “recalculation of your tax refund payment”. There is a link in the email for the recipient to click and submit a form, supposedly for their refund.

The link, however, does not go to the IRS, nor does it claim the recipient’s tax refund. Instead, the form collects sensitive and important personal data from the recipient like:

  • Social Security number
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Prior Year Annual Gross Income (AGI)
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Current Address
  • City
  • State/U.S. Territory
  • ZIP Code/Postal Code
  • Electronic Filing PIN

Do not click on the link in the email or anything else if you receive this scam email. The IRS requests that recipients use the “save as” function in their email inboxes and send that attachment or forward the email to

If you think you provided your information to a fraudulent entity via this current phishing scam or any other, please considering contacting the IRS for an Identity Protection PIN. This is voluntary, but the IP PIN is an additional six-digit number that helps protect against identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns.

If you attempt to e-file your tax return and it is rejected because a return with that social security number has already been filed, you should file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit to report yourself as a possible identity theft victim.

The IRS initiates most contact through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. While there are some special situations when the IRS will call or come to your home or business, the IRS will usually send a number of notices through the USPS before arriving. Learn more about how and when the IRS will contact you here.

We’re Here to Help

The professionals at Corrigan Krause are here to support you through tax season and beyond. Email for more information.