Now is the ideal time to remind Americans of scammers ready to trick them out of their money, especially with economic impact payments coming to help people during the COVID-19 crisis.
Some scammers call taxpayers on the phone pretending to be IRS agents, threatening to send law enforcement to arrest them for tax debt if they don’t send money. Scams include email phishing to get people to send personal financial information. The unscrupulous will try to run these and other scams on Americans waiting for stimulus money to show up in their mailboxes and bank accounts.
The IRS issued a series of alerts about these deceptions.
“It is imperative to be extremely cautious and protect your identity during this pandemic,” CPA Philip L. Liberatore wrote in an email. “The IRS will NEVER call or email you asking to verify or provide your financial information. You should also be on alert for fake text messages, scam websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information.”
Some people are more vulnerable than others and fall prey to scammers. The best way to avoid being cheated out of your money is to remember that the IRS won’t contact you asking for personal financial information or passwords. And don’t fall for promises of faster checks. For example, the AARP says the government uses the term “economic impact payment,” so be suspicious if you receive emails, texts, or social media contacts with the word “stimulus” in their communications.