Hackers have been stealing people's information, filing their returns, and getting the refund. Last year, the IRS noticed that the FAFSA online system could get enough personal information that it could be used by hackers. In October, the IRS sent a memo to the Department of Education saying that the system could be abused. But because up to 15 million people used the system out of convenience, they kept it online. In February, the IRS noticed a pattern of fraudulent activity, and shut it down last month.
According to the IRS, there are 100,000 accounts of people who started the application, used the "Data Retrieval Tool," and then didn't finish. The IRS is now alerting those people because if it wasn't them who filled out the application, it may have been a bad guy who used the information to file the tax returns for them and get the refund.