In April of 2020, the federal government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by sending economic income payments of up to $1,200 each to most Americans. Since then, struggling individuals and families have been waiting for a second round of checks that the government vaguely and informally promised to disburse.
Meanwhile, scammers and phishers have taken advantage of the financial desperation that many Americans are currently experiencing. Reported by the IRS on November 4th, the latest scam is a text that tricks people into giving out their bank account information by claiming they will receive a $1,200 stimulus check.
The text says: "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.” At the end of the text is a link to a fraudulent website that impersonates the IRS, where individuals are prompted to enter their bank account information and other personal data.
The Security Summit (a coalition comprising the IRS, state tax agencies, and the tax industry) emphasizes that taxpayers will never receive text messages from tax agencies asking for bank account information, even for the sake of the economic income payment. Additionally, the IRS will never send unsolicited texts or emails, threaten you over the phone with imprisonment or legal action, or demand tax payments on giftcards.
If you believe you have received this text scam, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- When you received the text (date, time, and timezone)
- The number from which you received the text
- Your phone number
- A screenshot of the text message
The deadline to request your economic income payment (if you have not already received it) is November 21, 2020. Visit this IRS webpage if you have not received it and believe you are eligible.
With 45+ years of experience, our legal team at Buchalter & Pelphrey Attorneys at Law is here to help you navigate both the legal and financial challenges resulting from COVID-19. We provide compassionate, skillful representation and strategic counsel for all our clients because we are personally committed to helping them overcome financial adversity. To learn about your options, call (321) 320-6088 or contact us online today.