Beware of Coronavirus-Related Scams

Scammers are targeting individuals who may be receiving upcoming economic impact payments from the IRS.

We want to draw your attention to a recent warning issued by the IRS about coronavirus-related scams that attempt to take advantage of individuals scheduled to receive economic impact payments, also referred to as a rebate or stimulus payment, from the IRS. While scammers may emphasize the words "Stimulus Check" or "Stimulus Payment" in their communications, the official name for these payments is economic impact payments. These phishing schemes, in which parties claim to be from the IRS, come in the form of calls, emails, text messages and even social media attempts that request money or personal information.

Please alert your employees to beware of these scams, which may lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. They should not respond to any form of communication or provide any personal information. As you know, the IRS never calls individuals – including to verify or provide financial information, or to receive an economic impact payment or refund faster.

The IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit accounts that taxpayers previously provided on tax returns. Taxpayers who have previously filed but have not provided direct deposit information to the IRS will be able to provide their banking information online to a newly designed secure portal on IRS.gov in mid-April. In the absence of direct deposit information, the IRS will mail a check to a taxpayer's on-file address.

Retirees who aren't required to file a tax return do not have to take any action to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. The IRS will send these payments automatically.

The IRS is asking any individual who receives unsolicited attempts to gather information that claim or appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS to forward it to phishing@irs.gov. Suspected scams can also be reported on the IRS's Report Phishing and Online Scams page. You and your employees can read more tips from the IRS here.

For more information about COVID-19 scams from the FBI, click here.

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