Fraudulent Tax Returns

How to Avoid Being Scammed

  1. If you as a customer are ever approached by a person and asked to accept a mailing at your residence, or asked to tape a fictitious name to your mailbox, don’t do it!
  2. If you suspect you're a victim, alerting your financial institutions and the credit reporting agencies to the fraud can help stop thieves from opening new accounts.
  3. Thieves don’t just use your information once –they use it again and again. The faster you respond, the less time they have to do damage.

Scheme Information

Fraudulent Tax Returns

Fraudulent Tax Returns

One address receiving multiple treasury checks with different names is a red flag to letter carriers, especially during the time period when tax refund checks are being sent through the U.S. Mail.


Fraudulent Tax Returns

Letter carriers also watch for change-of-address orders, specifically requesting the forwarding of tax refund checks.


Fraudulent Tax Returns

Puerto Rican residents appear to be a target because they are not required to file a federal tax return if they have not worked outside of Puerto Rico within the last year. They are only required to file a state return.


It's not just credit and debit cards that cyber hackers are after these days. Criminals are also using stolen personal information to file fraudulent tax returns and receive tax refunds. Tax refund fraud has exploded in recent years. In this scam identity thieves typically use stolen names and Social Security numbers to file victims’ phony electronic tax returns and then receive their refunds.

It’s a growing epidemic. About 1.6 million Americans were victims of ID theft/tax refund crimes last year. We are now getting into that time of year when tax refund checks start appearing in the mail. Most are legitimate, but this scam continues. Letter Carriers watch out for tax refund checks in names that don’t generally get mail at a particular address or multiple checks addressed to the same address or apartment. They also watch for change-of-address orders, specifically requesting the forwarding of tax refund checks.

But there are some things you can do to help stop this scam. Check out the Prevention Tips.