Long story made short, I elected to have the IRS mail me a refund check because I figured I may as well make the interest rather than them. So, instead of the refund, they have asked me to prove I am who I say I am and I’ve used ID.me - big rigamarole including facial recognition to match to your driver’s license, etc. Worked well for me - not so well for my wife whose driver license photo wasn’t even close to her current appearance and we needed to do a video call.
Anyway, now that we could prove who we were, we were able to get PIN’s at the IRS which should eliminate all sorts of potential risks. Ranks right up there with freezing my credit accounts. (Of course the new credit card mailed to me which was used before arriving won’t be helped by any of this).
Also noticed some interesting medical price comparisons at the bottom of the generic id.me site: