The California Association of REALTORS® is warning members of yet another identity theft scheme – an unexpected IRS refund. If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS requesting that you file a “tax refund request,” do not fall victim to this identity theft scheme.

Numerous people are receiving unsolicited email informing them that a $9,390.55 IRS tax refund is due them if they complete a tax refund request form. The email code will be forged to appear as if it originated from a trusted source, usually the IRS or an IRS tax preparer, but viewing the “message header” or “message source” will reveal its origin to be something else, and the link will not lead to a trusted domain, but one controlled by identity theft criminals.

If you file a tax return and a refund is due, you will automatically receive your refund. You will never be contacted by the IRS, and there is no tax refund request form. Never disclose personal information to any unsolicited inquiry, as compelling as the story may be.

If you have questions or concerns about any IRS tax refund you may have due, you should access the official IRS “Where’s My Refund” online application at the following destination: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96596,00.html.

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