People report emails from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicating that there is missing information and providing a link to provide updated information to receive an economic impact payment, also known as a stimulus check. These emails a part of a phishing scam. People must not click on this link because it gives terrible actors illegal access to private information that could lead to blackmail, banking or credit account hacks and worse.
There are several warning signs everyone should note. First, the IRS does not contact taxpayers using email. Second, the government has not authorized stimulus checks for 2023 disbursement. Third, on April 10, 2023, President Joe Biden declared the COVID-19 pandemic national emergency was officially over. Therefore, any email or physical mail offering economic impact payments is a scam.
In response to Verify’s Twitter post, E.G. Rios wrote: “THIS IS NOT HOW THE IRS DOES BUSINESS! They will send you a notification by way of [the] United States Postal Service, NOT by email. If there is an issue with your taxes, it’s the same way, and you have to sign for it.”
The IRS concurs with Rios’s statement. The agency’s website states” “The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text, or social media regarding a bill or tax refund.” That includes notices about stimulus checks.
Fake IRS Email Alert: No 2023 COVID Stimulus Checks
The agency warns that scams often have awkwardly worded requests, refer to refunds as “uncliamed property,” and ask for social security numbers, bank account information, and other private data. Furthermore, the IRS handles tax refunds — not unclaimed property. Read more about the agency’s warning in its annual “Dirty Dozen” report.
The IRS website says, “Taxpayers and tax professionals should be alert to fake communications posing as legitimate organizations in the tax and financial community, including the IRS and states. These messages can arrive in the form of an unsolicited text or email to lure unsuspecting victims to provide valuable personal and financial information that can lead to identity theft, including phishing and smashing.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
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