Beware of Tax Fraud

What is Tax Fraud?

Tax season is a prime time for criminals. Criminals can file fraudulent tax returns in your name—and steal your tax refund. They may attempt identity theft through emails claiming false problems with your return or tax documents.


A number of email tax fraud messages claiming to be from U-M administrative units or the IRS itself have been reported at U-M. They tell people to update or validate information using fake U-M login pages, or on a Google form that asks for personal information such as birthdate, Social Security number, and more. 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.

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

Examples of the fraudulent messages:

See the most recent Phishing Alerts.

Phone Calls

People across the country have been receiving phone calls from con artists claiming to be from the IRS. They often threaten tax-related legal action and demand payment. Do not provide information or money.

Note that 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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Preventing Tax Fraud

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 the IRS web pages Tax Fraud Alerts and Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. See Spam, Phishing, and Suspicious Email to learn how to protect yourself from phishing attacks.

If You Get Caught by a Tax Scam

Complete and submit IRS Form 14039.

Alert the appropriate state tax organization.

In Michigan, contact the Michigan Department of Treasury.