The IRS is warning college students and other taxpayers to be aware of a new federal tax refund scam luring students to give their personal information to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds.
In the southeast region of the US the American Opportunity Education Tax Credit has been popping up on erroneous returns around college campuses.
The students are manipulated by the promise of refunds even if they have little or no income. The scam claims the students are guaranteed a $1,000 college tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment based on American Opportunity Tax Credits – even when the victim isn’t an enrolled student or paying for their education.
Scam artists like these prey on the most vulnerable people, like college students, the elderly and anyone with little to no income. With the promise of “free money”, victims are coerced into a situation where the refund is either rejected or they receive it and then are responsible for paying it back – on top of the fees that they were duped out of for the false refund preparation in the first place. By the time the jig is up, the fraudsters are long gone, having moved on to new victims.
If your clients are students, or parents of students, we urge you to pass along this warning. It may even gain you a new or future client!