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Home / Tips and Tricks / IRS Incentive Check Scam aims to steal your payment. Know these facts now

IRS Incentive Check Scam aims to steal your payment. Know these facts now


Knowledge is power: The IRS will never call, text, or email you to verify information.

Sarah Tew / CNET

A second stimulus control for maximum $ 600 per eligible American is now on its way to tens of millions of people (discover when your check comes, and calculate how much money you are likely to receive). Again, scammers use news from the second stimulus control as a lure to try to steal your money and personal information.

The Better Business Bureau has already received reports from people who have been contacted via text, email, and phone calls about it new stimulus controls. Urgent emails, text messages or phone calls asking you to click on a link to confirm your payment or enter more information are fake and you should never click on the link or enter your bank or personal information .

Here are the most common and infamous scams that are on your second stimulus control – and what to do if you think you’ve been scammed. We took advantage of the official guidelines from the IRS website on avoiding economic impact payment schemes.

The IRS will never text you

If “the IRS” or “Internal Revenue Service” unexpectedly sends you an urgent text message – and any text message – don’t respond.

“Remember: #IRS DOES NOT send unsolicited text messages. Beware of a scam that asks for bank account information to send you an economic impact payment,” the agency tweeted on January 5.

Before the $ 600 stimulus check was approved, individuals reported receiving text messages encouraging them to click on a link and accept payment of the stimulus check. If you received a text message like this, it is a scam. The text messages may say that you have “received a direct deposit of $ 1,200 from COVID-19 (Treasury) Fund” and contain a false link to “accept the payment”. The same would be true for a $ 600 incentive check, or any amount.

Scammers can promise faster delivery of stimulus checks

If you are asked to verify or provide financial information by phone, email, or text message to speed up the delivery of your payment, that’s a scam too. According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, the IRS will not call or email you to verify your information. Use this IRS web page only to send information to the IRS.

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Second stimulus checks: everything you need to know


The IRS doesn’t call it a ‘stimulus check’

If the person you’re talking to via text message or email uses a language other than ‘payment for economic impact’, be wary / The IRS calls the ‘payment for economic impact’ by official name, where scammers tend to ‘ “stimulus check” or say “stimulus payment” instead.

Even if the term “payment for economic impact” pops up in any communication claiming to be from the IRS, don’t take your word for it, especially if any of these other tips raise red flags. Always visit the official IRS web page for information about your check. Here is how to find out when your stimulus check is coming.

In most cases, you don’t have to do anything to get an incentive payment

If you’re a retiree, who does not normally file a tax return and someone offers to submit information for you or claims that you need to verify information before receiving your check, something is wrong. The IRS says no action is needed on the part of retirees to receive an incentive check if they don’t normally file a tax return. Here’s more to know incentive checks, retirees and older adults.

What do I do if there is a false ‘stimulus’ check in the mail?

One scam can send an odd amount – pennies in particular – and ask you to call a number or verify information online to redeem it. The IRS says this is a scam. The U.S. Treasury, which is working with the IRS, will pass your stimulus check direct deposit or mail you a check or EIP card if that is not possible. As with the first check, most people don’t have to fill out an application or contact the IRS to get your second check. If you do, it will go through the Clawback discount as part of your 2020 tax return.


Knowing the common stimulus check scams will help you avoid them.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Nobody can get you your payment faster

Anyone who asks to work on your behalf and promises they can get you money faster – in person or online – is a scammer. Additionally, the IRS says you shouldn’t be asked to sign your check to anyone else either. Do you know stimulus check rights.

The IRS will not send you an email, so never click on an attachment

Email attachments that promise special information about payments or refunds are not legitimate. Again, the IRS will not contact you via email or text, and links in these messages could be dangerous malware or phishing attacks.

You never have to pay to receive your stimulus check

Some scams try to convince you that you have to pay to get your check. The IRS won’t ask you to deposit your check and then send them money. If you use direct deposit, the IRS says that payments for economic impact will be deposited directly into the same bank account that the most recent tax return that you applied for for 2019. If the IRS does not have a taxpayer’s direct deposit, a check will be sent to the last known address in our database.

Do you think you have been scammed? Here’s what to do

If you believe your personal information may have been compromised, the IRS suggests that you go to IdentityTheft.gov. The site allows you to report identity theft to the IRS and FTC at the same time and create a recovery plan.

For you second stimulus control, you can check out the IRS ‘Get My Payment page (we have instructions for here’s how to use the Get My Payment tool). You can also track your second check by mail. Here is everything we know about a third stimulus check.

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