Got a text about money from the IRS As tax season approaches, the IRS is warning taxpayers to watch out for new scams claiming to be related to COVID-19 stimulus checks and unemployment benefits. The agency says it never initiates contact with taxpayers through email, phone or social media sites like Facebook, and a text about a bill or refund is almost certainly a scam.
Is IRS verification letter legit?
Criminals are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal personal information, money or bank account access by pretending to be the IRS. The crooks often threaten legal action, such as having one’s driver’s license or business licenses revoked, and insist that payment is required immediately. Frequently, they ask for payments in hard-to-trace transfers, such as gift cards or pre-paid debit cards, that the victim can’t easily cancel.
During the last year, the IRS and its partners received nearly 6 million fraud and scam complaints, with victims reporting losses of more than $1 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Scams have taken many forms, from investment schemes to fake online lotteries and even “virtual currency” trading.
The IRS has a special website to report suspicious IRS impersonation calls, which includes information about what to expect from legitimate contact with the agency. It’s also a good idea to get identity theft protection, which can help you track and cancel any financial transactions you didn’t authorize. For more tips on protecting yourself against identity theft, click here.