Beware of Stimulus Check and other Tax Scams
Now that stimulus payments and checks are coming out scammers are on top of it. Don’t be a victim. The inspector general is asking people to report any suspicious activity.
The IRS never emails or phones you – EVER. They will never contact you via social media or text message – EVER.
The IRS only notifies you of anything via US mail. So anybody calling or emailing you claiming to be from IRS is a scammer. Don’t fall for it.
Typical scams are official looking emails. They will have a subject line such as Payment confirmation for tax refund request or Payment confirmation of your stimulus package or something similar with an official looking confirmation number. Do not open these emails. They may place a virus on your computer, sucker you into providing personal data resulting in identity theft, computer hacking, blackmail or something similar.
Beware of Stimulus Check and other Tax Scams – “Unsuspecting victims” – Call your parents and/or grandparents and warn them about these scams.
Per Fortune Magazine, “I understand scammers are already contacting innocent Americans by impersonating IRS or Treasury Department officials, offering so-called COVID-19-related assistance that requires the sharing of personal financial information,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote in a letter (pdf) to the inspector general earlier this month. “These scammers then use that information to steal from their unsuspecting victims.”
REAL IRS WEBSITE FOR STIMULUS CHECK INFORMATION – Any other website is a scam.
REAL IRS WEBSITE FOR ENTERING YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFO – Any other website is a scam.
People who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 should submit their bank account or address information with the IRS as soon as possible to prevent a criminal from submitting incorrect information to divert payments. Social Security beneficiaries will automatically receive their payments, though those who just started receiving benefits will need to send their information to the IRS.
Sign up for USPS Informed Delivery
Users can sign up online to get an “Informed Delivery” email about what is coming in the mail later that day. Mailed check recipients know to retreive their mail before it’s stolen.
Track your check
The IRS will also mail notifications to recipients about two weeks after their payment has been sent that will also include instructions about how to report that a payment hasn’t arrived.
Watch your mailbox
Scammers know that checks are coming out this week. Don’t underestimate that they will attempt low-tech crimes such as stealing checks from mailboxes. If you know approximately when your mail comes go out and retrieve it before a scammer drives by and does it for you.
Scammers have 90 extra days to scam you
The Federal tax filing date has been extended to July 15 so scammers have an additional 90 days to scam. Someone I know recently received an email that included a Tax refund confirmation number, #75991792. There are enough numbers to look like something the IRS would issue, and the email includes the address, toll-free phone number and website link for the IRS. The sender is some oddball email address that is not – repeat, NOT – anything resembling www.IRS.gov. The senders email address contained: ATNM_2006. But don’t just look for emails like these. ALL EMAILS FROM THE IRS ARE SCAMMERS.