IRS warns of new text scam promising $1,200 stimulus check for personal info

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By , KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

In yet another effort to steal people’s information, scammers are using false coronavirus stimulus payments, the IRS says.

An elaborate phishing scam is sending text messages telling people that they’ve received a COVID-19 payment via direct deposit, but they need to supply their bank account information to receive it – the IRS never sends unsolicited texts or emails and never demands payment. Additionally, they do not threaten to have tax payers arrested – another long-standing scam.

"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 message reads, along with a link to a fake website, that closely resembles the “get my payment” page on the IRS.gov site.

“Criminals are relentlessly using COVID-19 and economic impact payments as cover to try to trick taxpayers out of their money or identities,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a Nov. 4 news release, according to the Sacramento Bee. “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 advises taking a screenshot if you receive the scam text, and send it in an email to phishing@irs.gov along with the date, time and time zone you received the message, the phone number it came from and the phone number that received the message.

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