Beware of Tax Fraud

How Does Tax Fraud Work?

Identity thieves can file fraudulent tax returns in your name and steal your tax refund. They may attempt identity theft through emails or phone calls that claim false problems with your return or tax documents. 

Through Phishing Emails

Identity thieves send fraudulent emails claiming to be from U-M administrative units or the IRS asking people to update or validate information using fake U-M login pages, fraudulent Google forms, and more. They ask for personal information such as birthdate, Social Security number, and more that they can use to impersonate you. Do not provide this information.

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

Examples:

See the most recent Phishing Alerts.

Through Phone Scams

People across the country have received phone calls from con artists claiming to be from the IRS. They often threaten tax-related legal action and demand immediate payment. They may ask for personal information. Do not provide information or money. Learn about phone scams.

The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

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Prevent Tax Fraud

Turn on two-factor for Weblogin to protect your U-M accounts.

Turn on two-factor for Weblogin to add extra security for Wolverine Access (including your W-2), U-M Google, and other U-M web sites and tools. Two-factor authentication adds a second layer of security, keeping your account secure even if your password is compromised.

If you file online, first secure your data, devices, and home network.

Secure your devices to safeguard your online identity and accounts. This means setting strong passwords, backing up your data, choosing appropriate privacy and access settings, only connecting to secure networks, and more.

File your taxes as soon as possible. This prevents criminals from filing under your name, and will get you your tax refund (if you are eligible for one) faster.

Know your tax filing merchants.

Use only Authorized IRS e-file Providers to file your taxes. If you're filing on the web, make sure that the website URL starts with https to indicate a secure connection.

Be suspicious of ads for tax filing services that promise you large or expedited tax refunds. These ads are often scams to steal your personal information.

Beware of common identity theft and tax scams.

Information about many current tax scams can be found at IRS: Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. See Scams to learn how to protect yourself from phishing attacks, phone scams, tax fraud, and tech support scams.

If You Get Caught by a Tax Scam

Report tax identity theft to the federal government.

To report tax identity theft to the federal government and get a recovery plan, visit the Federal Trade Commission's IdentityTheft.gov website. It allows you to file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 14039 online when you report identity theft. 

Or download a copy of IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039 (PDF) for filing. For additional information from the IRS, see Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance.

Alert the appropriate state tax organization.

In Michigan, contact the Michigan Department of Treasury.

  • Call: (517) 636-4486
  • Email: Treasury-ReportIDTheft@michigan.gov
  • Send mail to:
    Identify Theft Unit
    Income Tax Division
    P.O. Box 30477
    Lansing, MI 48909