Beware of Coronavirus Related Scams
The IRS is reporting a surge in new phishing schemes and scams against taxpayers. If you are contacted about your banking information by someone from the outside, do not provide it. Taxpayers should never provide their direct deposit or other banking information for others to input on their behalf into the secure portal.
Normally the IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit account taxpayers previously provided on tax returns. Those taxpayers who have previously filed but not provided direct deposit information to the IRS will be able to provide their banking information online to a newly designed secure portal on IRS.gov in mid-April. If the IRS does not have a taxpayer’s direct deposit information, a check will be mailed to the address on file. Taxpayers should not provide their direct deposit or other banking information for others to input on their behalf into the secure portal.
It appears that retirees are being particularly hard targeted by scammers. The IRS also reminds retirees who don’t normally have a requirement to file a tax return that no action on their part is needed to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. Seniors should be especially careful during this period. The IRS reminds retirees – including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 − that 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 economic impact payment, also sometimes referred to as rebates or stimulus payments. The IRS is sending these $1,200 payments automatically to retirees – no additional action or information is needed on their part to receive this.
Coronavirus related scammers may:
- Mail a 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. They will then fish for banking and other personal information.
- Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term 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.
When in doubt about who you are talking to about your taxes or other tax-related information, contact the IRS from contact infoormation found on https://irs.gov.