COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - The Internal Revenue Service is warning college students to be aware of emerging federal tax refund scams.
Scammers, according to the IRS, are trying to get students to relinquish their personal identification and file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds.
The schemes carry a common theme of promising refunds to people who have little or no income, are normally being claimed as a dependent, and are not required to file a federal income tax return.
Promoters falsely claim they can obtain a $1000 college tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment for their victims based on the American Opportunity Tax Credits, even in some cases if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college according to the IRS.
"Most of these scams involve promoters who prey upon students and people in need, building false hopes. When victims' claims are rejected, their money, personal tax and banking account information, along with the promoters are long gone," said IRS spokesperson Mark S. Green. "We want to alert the public and the education communities to not be misled, and be on guard to stop this new scheme before more innocent people are victimized."
The IRS has already stopped thousands of these bogus refund claims in recent weeks.
"Individuals should be on-guard for these scams, and safeguad their social security numbers and personal financial information," said Green, "The IRS does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text and social media electronic communications to request personal or financial information."
If you would like information on tax benefits related to education you can go to the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center found here .