Confusion is a fertile ground for scammers and the coronavirus outbreak is no exception. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. government are alerting about a worrying trend of coronavirus-related scams.
Economic Impact Payments Scams
According to the IRS, scammers are deploying a barrage of phishing attempts in the form of text or social media messages related to Economic Impact Payments, the U.S. government stimulus geared towards helping taxpayers impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus.
These are some red flags that should put you on alert:
- The term Economic Impact Payment does not appear in the message. Instead, they use the terms “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.”
- A fake check with an odd amount is mailed, and you are ordered to call a number or verify information online to cash it
- A person asks you to check your Economic Impact Payment to someone else.
- They ask you by phone, email or social media to verify your information in order to receive your payment.
Other Coronavirus-Related Scams
The U.S. government has detected the following common scams you should also be aware of:
- Charity scams: Criminals use a made-up charity to ask for donations, sometimes in cash or with gift cards. Use these organizations to research charities and make sure they’re legitimate.
- Government stimulus: Scammers use this strategy to target retirees. They send messages by text or social media asking for personal information claiming they can speed up Economic Impact Payments.
- FDIC and Banks: People supposedly calling from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or your bank, tell you that your ability to withdraw funds may be compromised. Don’t fall for this and call the FDIC instead (1-877-ASK-FDIC, 1-877-275-3342).
- Vaccines and treatments: Dismiss any message offering test kits or miracle cures for Covid-19.
If you think you have received a malicious message, don’t engage the sender. Instead, report the incident to law enforcement, or to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) or the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
At Delgado’s Insurance our mission is helping you find peace of mind with our income tax services and our wide array of insurance options.
We have locations in Riverside, California, and Bloomington, California. Contact us today by telephone (951-361-0084, 909-421-9003), email or through our social media accounts to get a free quote and learn more about our services.