Economic Impact Payments – Be Wary of Scams

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The Department of Treasury, the IRS, and Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) WILL NOT AND DO NOT INITIATE contact with taxpayers by phone, by email, by text messages or by social media to request personal or financial information.  “The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.  We will also not send “surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don’t open them or click on attachments or links.”

The IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division has identified these scams:

  • Emails that use the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.”  NOTE:  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 PINS, personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to 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.

What to do if you get a scam email:

  • Don’t reply.  Do open any attachments.  Don’t click on any links.
  • FORWARD the email – preferably with the full email headers – to [email protected].
  • Delete the email.

What to do if you get a scam phone call:

  • Listen to the message.  Don’t not provide any information.   Hang up.
  • Report IRS or Treasury-related fraudulent calls by emailing [email protected]  and using the subject line:  IRS Phone Scam.
    If you can, include:

    • The telephone number of the caller (e.g., Caller ID)
    • The telephone number you were instructed to call back
    • A brief description of the communication
    • Employee name/badge, if he/she gave it.
    • The exact date and time that you received the call(s).
    • The geographic location and time zone where you received the call if possible
  • You can also contact Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this form and/or Federal Communications Commission (FCC) via the  Consumer Complaint Center.