Taxpayers should be on the lookout for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonation calls, texts and email phishing attempts about the coronavirus or COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments.
These scams can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.
What taxpayers should know:
• The IRS will not call, email or text you to verify or request your financial, banking or personal information;
• Watch out for websites and social media attempts to request money or personal information. The official website is IRS.gov;
• Don’t open surprise emails that look like they’re coming from the IRS or click on attachments or links;
• Taxpayers should not provide personal or financial information or engage with potential scammers online or over the phone;
• Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com, then delete;
• Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.
What people should know about Economic Impact Payments:
• The IRS will automatically deposit Economic Impact Payments into the bank account taxpayers provided, on their 2019 or 2018, the tax return for a direct deposit of their tax refund;
• Those without a direct deposit account on file may be able to provide their banking information online through a new secure tool, Get My Payment;
• Anyone who is eligible for an Economic Impact Payment and doesn’t provide direct deposit information will receive a payment mailed to the last address the IRS has on file;
• The IRS does not charge a fee to issue the payment.
• Ask an individual to sign over their Economic Impact Payment check to them;
• Ask for verification of personal or banking information;
• Suggest that they can get a someone tax refund or Economic Impact Payment faster by working on their behalf;
• Issue a bogus check, often in an odd amount, then tell a person to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.
The IRS encourages people to share this information with family and friends. Many people who normally don’t normally file a tax return may not realize they’re eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.
Be sure to inquire, if in doubt, consult a specialized professional.