Beware Of The Latest Stimulus Check Scam
As Congress drags its feet on a new stimulus package for Americans, scammers have no problem telling you you're getting a new stimulus check.
It starts with a text or an e-mail stating that the government has issued you a new stimulus check worth $1200. They may have even have your correct social security number.
But be wary, because first of all, neither Congress or the President has approved a new stimulus bill, and when they do, they won't need your personal information.
The scams have been flying since the first stimulus went through back in April, and they've been pretty constant ever since.
CNET reported that victims of the scam received texts informing them they were being given “a direct deposit of $1,200 from Covid-19 (Treasury) Fund.” The text includes a malicious link, which the victim is urged to tap in order to accept the payment.
Consumers should be suspicious of any text or e-mail, or even phone call promising free money.
The IRS is very adamant, they DO NOT use text to communicate with citizens.
"It's not how we're doing business by asking you through a text," IRS spokesperson Rafael Tulino told NBC San Diego. "The IRS does not do business with random texts. Under no circumstances is the IRS texting you, calling you or emailing you out of the blue demanding or threatening something."
Ignore those texts, or report them to the IRS.
CNET has compiled a list of 8 different stimulus scams currently being investigated around the US.
If you're told by text there's a second check: Individuals have reported getting text messages that say you need to click on a link to accept your stimulus check payment. If you've gotten a text message like this, it's a scam. The text messages say that you've "received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 (Treasury) Fund" and will include a phony link to "accept the payment."
If you're asked to verify or provide financial information by phone, email or text to speed up the delivery of your payment. The IRS won't call or email you to verify your information, according to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. Only use this IRS web page to submit information to the IRS.
If the person you're talking to via text or email uses language other than "economic impact payment." The IRS said that the official term is "economic impact payment," and scammers will likely say "stimulus check" or "stimulus payment" instead.
If you're a retiree who doesn't normally file a tax return and someone offers to submit information for you or claims you must verify information before getting your check. The IRS says no action is needed on the part of retirees to receive a stimulus check if they don't normally file a tax return.
If you get a bogus check in the mail. If the check is for an odd amount -- specifically including cents -- asking you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it, the IRS says this is a scam. The IRS said it will first deposit the payment directly into your account and then mail you a check if that's not possible. For the first round of stimulus checks, you didn't need to fill out an application or contact the IRS in any way.
If someone says they can get you your payment faster. Anyone who asks to work on your behalf promising that they can get you money faster -- in person or online -- is a scam. In addition, the IRS says you also shouldn't be asked to sign your check over to anyone else.
Email attachments that promise special information about payments or refunds. Again, the IRS will not contact you by email or text message and links within these messages could be dangerous malware or phishing scams.
If you're told you have to pay to get your check. The IRS won't ask you to deposit your check and then send them money. The IRS says that economic impact payments will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the most recent tax return that you filed for either 2018 or 2019. If the IRS does not have a taxpayer's direct deposit information, a check will be mailed to the last known address on file.
KEEP READING: 50 community resources supporting Americans financially impacted by COVID-19