University students and staff should be aware of IRS impersonation email scam

IRS Tax Tip 2021-42, April 2, 2021

People should be aware of an ongoing IRS-impersonation scam that appears to target educational institutions, including students and staff who have ".edu" email addresses. The suspect emails display the IRS logo and use various subject lines, such as "Tax Refund Payment" or "Recalculation of your tax refund payment." It asks people to click a link and submit a form to claim their refund.

The scam website requests taxpayers provide their:

  • Social Security number
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Prior year annual gross income
  • Driver's license number
  • Current address
  • City
  • State/U.S. territory
  • ZIP code/postal code
  • Electronic filing PIN

Taxpayers who believe they have a pending refund can easily check on its status using the Where's My Refund? tool on

Here are a few things people can do if they believe they are a target of the scam:

  • Report the scam: People who receive this scam email should not click on the link in the email and report it to the IRS. For security reasons, they should save the email using save as and then send that attachment to or forward the email as an attachment to .
  • Get an Identity Protection PIN: Taxpayers who believe they may have provided identity thieves with their personal information should consider immediately obtaining an Identity Protection PIN. This is a voluntary opt-in program. An IP PIN is a six-digit number that helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns in the victim's name.
  • Report identity theft: Taxpayers who attempt to e-file their tax return and find it rejected because a return with their SSN has been filed should file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit PDF to report themselves as a possible identity theft victim. See Identity Theft Central to learn about the signs of identity theft and actions to take.

More information:

Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips