With news that the IRS will be sending money to taxpayers as part of the recently passed COVID-19 stimulus package, scammers have begun targeting taxpayers in an attempt to gain access to the funds and steal personal information they can later use for tax fraud or identity theft. The IRS is warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for suspicious text messages, phishing emails, and fraudulent phone calls.

Following are some tips from the IRS to help taxpayers spot a scam:

  • The IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit account that has been previously used for tax returns. If no direct deposit information is available, checks will be mailed to the address on file.
  • The IRS will not contact taxpayers by phone, email, text, or social media in order to verify personal information or bank account numbers. Do not engage with individuals by phone or click on links in messages.
  • No third party can act on behalf of a taxpayer or retiree to facilitate or speed up receipt of the economic impact payment.
  • Retirees who do not have to file tax returns do not need to complete any extra steps; the payment will be sent automatically.
  • Beware of any check that is written for an odd amount or one that asks the recipient to call a number or verify taxpayer information online.

Please be vigilant in protecting your personal information during this time of uncertainty. It is an unfortunate reality that scammers increase their activity during any kind of widespread crisis.

Please contact us for more information or visit our Coronavirus Resource Center.