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Scam Alert: COVID-19 economic impact payment scams targeting taxpayers

The US Treasury department and IRS has announced that the automatic distribution of the upcoming economic impact had started. Yes you read it right, these payments are being distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.

There is a way for you to check if you are eligible and how any potential payment will be disbursed to you via the IRS website:

Taxpayers are urged to be vigilant and look out for scams relating to economic impact payments. During these times, cyber criminals try to exploit the people due to these confusing and stressful times and try to take advantage of taxpayers by committing fraud and identity theft.

What to look out for a potential scam:

• Usage of phrases like “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
• There are some instances that they are being asked to sign over your economic impact payment in exchange for receiving additional funds.
• Scammers attempt reach you by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information. They would claim that the said information is needed to receive or speed up your economic impact payment.
• Take note that the IRS will not call you asking you to verify financial information to expedite a payment.
• There is no need to be asked for personal information in order to get an economic impact payment, and often claim to expedite it by working on your behalf.
• You might also be mailed a bogus check and asked to call or verify information online in order to cash it.

IF you have confirmed that you are a recipient of the economic impact payment but you do not receive it by the time specified by the IRS and suspect delays due to fraud givec the IRS a call. You should also report the scam to the FTC (

The following are some steps to help avoid being a victim of scams related to your potential economic impact payment.

• Be extra careful of emails, text or phone calls and even social media requests for money that asks for personal identifiable information in exchange for receiving your payment more quickly.
• Never ever send money to someone else with the premise of receiving additional money. Most scam artist may trick you by saying it is a deposit, an advance, or a processing fee. This for sure is a sign of a scam.
• Never ever give your personal or financial information over the phone. Come on people, the IRS knows your information.

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