Following a record number of complaints to the IRS’s Criminal Investigation section in June and July, the agency issued a warning to the public about scams using government stimulus payments this week.
Important Things You Should Know To Avoid Stimulus Checks Scam
In a recently published article in KTLA5, the scammers seek to dupe potential victims into divulging personal information or making a payment by sending communications that seem to be from the IRS, such as text messages and emails, according to the statement.
According to the IRS, one recent reported scam includes taxpayers receiving SMS suggesting that they are eligible for a “stimulus payment” and that in order to claim it, they must click on a link and fill out the information. Scammers sent phishing emails to people saying the IRS had assessed their “fiscal activities” and decided they were qualified for a stimulus payment.
The IRS reminds everyone that it does not send out unsolicited text messages or emails to assist people from falling victim to such frauds. The agency also doesn’t demand that taxes be paid using gift cards or cryptocurrencies, and it doesn’t threaten people with prison time or litigation, according to a report published in WFLA.
Stimulus Check Scams Spike During the Pandemic
Since the IRS started paying the first of three federal coronavirus relief payments in April 2020, scammers have been attempting to defraud unsuspecting taxpayers of their stimulus checks. Spam emails linked to the global pandemic had risen by 6,000 percent, according to an IBM study published the same month.
Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation Jim Lee in a statement said “The number of reported scam attempts reached levels we haven’t seen in more than a decade. More than ever, it is important for taxpayers to continue to protect their personal information and not fall victim to these scams.”
Since the commencement of the coronavirus pandemic, Congress has approved three rounds of stimulus checks, the most recent of which was created by the relief legislation signed by President Biden in March. Meanwhile, since the assistance payments started, scammers have attempted to take advantage of them, attempting to dupe taxpayers into giving their bank information.
What To Do If You Received a Suspected Text Message?
Anyone who receives an unsolicited email or text message from the IRS should send it to [email protected] The IRS stated that taxpayers may report cases of stimulus payment fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
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