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Wisconsin Bankers Association says, “Warn your customers!” The latest twist on IRS Tax Fraud is sweeping the nation and it involves your very own bank account. Here’s how it works:

Freddy Fraudster is a bad guy and he illegally files Victoria Victim’s income taxes. Freddy has the tax return deposited to Victoria’s bank account. Then Freddy poses as a debt collector; he contacts Victoria to inform her that a refund has been mistakenly deposited into her account and asks her to send him the money. Freddy escapes with Victoria’s hard earned income and when Victoria tries to file her taxes, she learns they have already been done for her.

If you discover a direct deposit refund that you were not expecting, take the following steps:

1. Contact the bank where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS.

2. Call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 (individual) or 800-829-4933 (business) to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.

To review a list of known IRS Tax Scams, visit the IRS Tax Scam Consumer Alerts page.

For tips on how to protect yourself from IRS tax fraud, check out the IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.

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