Don't fall for a text claiming you're getting a $1,200 stimulus payment

There is a new scam related to stimulus checks, and the IRS wants to make sure you don't fall for it.

Despite talks by lawmakers of another stimulus payment, a deal has not been reached. However, that is not stopping scammers from targeting people waiting for financial relief.

It starts with a text message and the goal is to get you into disclosing bank account information to get a $1,200 stimulus check.

The IRS says the text states, "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 ..." The text includes a link to a fake phishing web address.

This fake phishing URL, which appears to come from a state agency or relief organization, takes recipients to a fraudulent website that impersonates the IRS.gov Get My Payment website.

If you visit the fraudulent website and then enter your personal and financial account information, scammers will have your information.

The IRS wants people who receive this text scam to take a screenshot of the text message and then include the screenshot in an email to phishing@irs.gov with the following information:

  • Date/Time/Timezone that they received the text message
  • The number that appeared on their Caller ID
  • The number that received the text message

The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails. The IRS does not call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, nor does it demand tax payments on gift cards.

If you still did not get your stimulus payment, go to IRS.gov to check the status of your payment. People who do not have a filing requirement but who are eligible for it can use a non-filers tool on the IRS's website until November 21 to claim their payment.
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