IRS Warns of COVID-19 Text Scams
November 9, 2020
The IRS, state tax agencies, and the tax industry yesterday warned of a new text scam created by thieves that trick people into disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. "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. "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 scam text message states: "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 includes a link to a fake phishing web address. People who receive this text scam should take a screen shot of the text message that they received and then include the screenshot in an email to phishing at irs dot 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
People who believe they are eligible for the Economic Impact ("Stimulus") Payment should go directly to IRS.gov. People who do not have a filing requirement but who are eligible for EIP can use a non-filers tool on IRS.gov until November 21 to claim their payment.