Multiple federal agencies have issued warnings to the American people cautioning them to be aware of potential coronavirus related scams.
Examples of scams can include but are not limited to:
- Phishing emails from entities posing as CDC or WHO
- Malicious links that appear to share COVID-19 information
- Seeking donations for fraudulent organizations
- Promises of fake cures or refunds
To help taxpayers avoid falling victim to one of these scams, multiple federal agencies – from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Health and Human Services, to the Social Security Administration – have issued warnings. Here are some common red flags to look for, courtesy of the IRS — scammers may:
Please remain vigilant and warn vulnerable loved ones of these potential threats and scams. The FTC has very helpful resources on how to recognize and avoid scams:
- Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” Those are incorrect. The official term is economic impact payment.
- Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
- Ask by phone, email, text, or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
- Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
- Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.