On April 2, the IRS issued a statement, warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for phishing scams related to coronavirus stimulus checks, the part of the CARES Act that is paying out up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child to millions of American households. The IRS has followed up by putting out at least one or two warnings a day about coronavirus scams on social media.
Retirees are specifically being targeted by scammers looking to gain personal information because they don’t typically have to file tax returns, the IRS says. “No one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information to complete their economicimpact payment,”
the IRS warns.
Stimulus Checks and Coronavirus Scams
The IRS included a list of tricks that scammers might use to access information, including:
* Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term used by the IRS is “economic impact payment.”
* Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
* Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
* Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
* Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.