IRS warns of new COVID relief phishing scam

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WEHT) The IRS is warning of a new stimulus scam devised to trick people into disclosing their bank account information in order to receive a $1200 payment.

The scam comes in the form of a text message that reads: “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.

The phony URL appears to come from a stage agency or relief organization and takes users to a fake website that impersonates the IRS.gov Get My Payment website, which the scammers hope will fool people into giving out their person banking information.

An Evansville woman recently fell victim to a similar scam and it cost her and her daughter nearly $4000.

The IRS is once again reminding taxpayers that they will never contact anyone by text message asking for bank information. 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.

People who receive this text scam should take a screen shot of the text message and 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

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(This story was originally published on November 6, 2020)

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