IRS Warns People to Be Cautious of Stimulus Payment Scams
The U.S. Department of Justice is warning people to be cautious of digital scams in relation to the money that the government is distributing to individuals, small businesses, and families to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scammers are already stealing people’s identities to apply for stimulus payments in their names and have been distributing phishing messages through email, text, social media, and phone calls to target unsuspecting victims awaiting their stimulus payment. By disguising themselves as a trusted source such as the IRS or Justice Department, scammers are actively targeting taxpayers in the hopes of stealing their personal information and receiving a quick payout.
As cybercriminals continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s crucial to be extremely cautious of all unsolicited messages from the IRS or other public agencies. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig claims that the IRS will not personally contact individuals for financial information to get an economic impact payment, and urges all people not to provide any personal information through text, email, or other unsecured channels. For information regarding the status of your stimulus payments, navigate directly to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.
According to the IRS website, “In most cases, the IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit account taxpayers previously provided on tax returns”. Those who have not given the IRS their direct deposit information are able to provide their banking information through a secure online portal on IRS.gov.
For more information about economic impact payment scams and how to identify them, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-warning-about-coronavirus-related-scams-watch-out-for-schemes-tied-to-economic-impact-payments