IRS, Virginia Coronavirus Task Force warn about COVID-19 scams

Coronavirus relief money: How much you could receive and how the government will get it to you
Coronavirus relief money: How much you could receive and how the government will get it to you

ROANOKE, Va. – With stimulus checks on their way in a few weeks, experts say this is a prime time for scammers to take advantage of those in need.

For most Americans, the stimulus checks will be directly deposited into their bank account. But for those who have traditionally received tax refunds through the mail, their check will come through the mail.

According to experts with the Virginia Coronavirus Task Force and IRS Criminal Investigations, scammers might try to get you to sign over your check to them or get you to “verify” your filing information so they can steal your money. They may also use your personal information to file false tax returns in an identity theft scheme.

Here are some tips to help protect your against scammers:

  • The IRS will never call ou to ask you to verify your payment details. Do not give your bank account, debit account, or PayPal account information to anyone, even if the caller says it’s necessary in order to receive your check.
  • If you receive a call, dol not engage. Just hang up.
  • If you get texts or emails claiming you can get your money faster by sending personal identifying information or clicking on links, delete those messages. Do not click on any links.
  • If you receive a “check” in the mail now, it’s a scam. It will take the Treasury a few more weeks to mail out COVID-19 economic impact payments.
  • If you receieve a “check” for an odd amount, especially one with cents, or a check that requires you to verify the check online or by calling a number, it’s a scam.

Remember: the IRS will not call you to verify your payment details, and the federal government will not ask you to pay anything up front for a legitimate benefit.

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