IRS Warns About Texts Promising $1,200 Stimulus Checks
By Jason Hall
November 12, 2020
The IRS confirmed it is not sending the messages, which are instead part of a new text scam created by identity thieves attempting to access bank account information, according to a news release. The IRS, states and industry are working together as the Security Summit to remind taxpayers that neither the IRS or state agencies will reach out for taxpayers' bank account information so that an EIP deposit may be made.
"Criminals are relentlessly using COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments as cover to try to trick taxpayers out of their money or identities," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in the news release. "This scam is a new twist on those we've been seeing much of this year. We urge people to remain alert to these types of scams."
According to the IRS, the scam text message includes the following:
"You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment …"
The text also includes a link to a fake phishing web address, according to the news release.
The fake phishing URL, which falsely claims to be a state agency or relief organization, takes recipients to a fraudulent website that impersonates the IRS.gov Get My Payment website. Individuals who visit the fraudulent website are then asked to enter their personal and financial account information, which is then collected by scammers.
Any individuals who receive the text scam are advised to take a screen shot of the text message that they received and send it via email to email@example.com with the following information:
- Date/Time/Timezone that they received the text message
- The number that appeared on their Called ID
- The number that received the text message
The IRS does not send U.S. taxpayers unsolicited texts or emails, call with threats of jail or lawsuits or demand tax payments on gift cards.
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