Watch out for scams via text
According to the IRS, there’s a new stimulus check scam that you need to know about.
Thieves are sending text messages saying, “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 then has a link to a fake website that looks like the IRS’s online “Get My Payment” portal. The idea is to trick people into disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving a $1,200 stimulus check. [This type of scam is known as phishing.]
Unfortunately, if you visit the fraudulent website and then enter your personal and financial account information, you will actually be giving this private information to scammers and succumbing to identity theft.
Remember that neither the IRS nor any state agency will ever text you to ask for bank account information to make a stimulus check payment. In fact, they don’t send unsolicited texts or emails.
And they don’t call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, or demand tax payments via gift cards, either. Those are red flags that should warn you of a scam.
If you receive one of these phony text messages, take a screenshot of it and email it to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also include:
—Date and time (including time zone) you received the text message;
—Number that appeared on your Caller ID; and
—Number that received the text message.
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