With Covid-19 crisis still looming over us, not just the physical health but the financial health of many is also in jeopardy. It is an ideal environment for those with ill intent to rob you of your sensitive information and/or your money under the guise of receiving the economic impact payment (EIP).
New Text Scam
IRS warns of a new text scam created by thieves to trick you in disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1200 economic impact payment. Neither the IRS nor any state agency will text you asking for bank information so that an EIP deposit can be made.
These thieves are trying to trick people with a text message that states “You have received a direct deposit of $1200 from Covid-19 Treasury Fund. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account”. The text includes a link to a fake phishing web address which appears as if coming from a reliable source.
Report the Scam to the IRS
If you happen to get such a scam text message, please take a screen shot of the text message and email it to IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org along with some additional information like:
- Number that received the text message
- Number that appeared on caller ID as received
- Date/Time/Time zone you received the message.
Remember IRS or states do not send unsolicited texts or emails.
The IRS and states do not threaten people with jail or lawsuits over the phone. The IRS or states do not demand tax payments on gift cards.
One additional layer of protection against tax identity theft is to voluntarily apply for an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN).
The IRS allots you an IP PIN only after you pass a rigorous identity verification process validating your identity. This IP PIN is valid for one year and hence you must obtained it each year. To get an IP PIN you can use the online tool ‘Get IP PIN’ available on IRS website starting January 2021. Alternatively you can also file a paper application for IP PIN.
Don’t forget to keep the IP PIN you get in a safe location until its time to prepare your tax return.
If you need help with your tax return preparation, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.
This material is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice.