IRS Warns of COVID Payment Scam

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The IRS is warning about a new text scam that attempts to trick people into disclosing bank account information by promising they’ll receive an “Economic Impact Payment” of $1,200, according to a news release from the Internal Revenue Service.

The scam message includes a link to a fake phishing web address and reads: “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 phishing URL leads to a fraudulent website impersonating the IRS “Get My Payment” website. If recipients of the text enter personal financial information, those behind the scam will have access to it.

“The IRS, states and industry, working together as the Security Summit, remind taxpayers that neither the IRS nor state agencies will ever text taxpayers asking for bank account information so that an EIP deposit may be made,” the release said.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said the scammers behind the texts are “relentlessly using COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments as cover to try to trick taxpayers out of their money or identities,” according to the 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.”

The IRS says anyone who receives the text scam should take a screenshot of it and email the photo to phishing@irs.gov with the following information:

  • Date/Time/Timezone that they received the text message

  • The number that appeared on their Caller ID

  • The number that received the text message

Those who think they qualify for Economic Impact Payment should visit IRS.gov, but the government agency will never send unsolicited texts or emails.

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