IRS Sees Surge in Scams Involving Third Stimulus Checks: Urges Extra Caution

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Last week we reported about some people getting fake emails claiming that they are eligible for a third stimulus check. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also issued a warning following a surge in email and text scams involving third stimulus checks.

Scams Involving Third Stimulus Checks: What Do You Need To Know?

On Friday, the IRS issued a warning about a growing scam, where scammers claim that the email or text recipient is eligible for another stimulus check. The agency noted that hundreds of complaints have been pouring in daily regarding email scams since the fourth of July.

“The IRS is seeing a wave of these summer scams relentlessly pounding taxpayers,” IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a statement. “People are being flooded with these email and text messages, but we want them to avoid getting swept up in these terrible scams.”

Detailing how the scams involving third stimulus checks works, the agency said some users have reported getting emails with the subject line: Third Round of Economic Impact Payments Status Available.

Further, the agency said these email and text scams involving third stimulus checks encourage users to click on a link to complete their application. Clicking the link, however, takes them to another website where scammers try to get valuable personal information from users.

So, the IRS asks users not to click on any such link and delete that email or text as soon as possible. Users can also contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040, or can report email and text scams involving third stimulus checks at [email protected].

Tips To Identify Such Scams

The IRS noted that the federal government approved the third stimulus check in 2021, and all the payments were sent back in 2021.

Further, the agency noted that there hasn’t been any change related to stimulus checks at the federal level, and thus, any communication suggesting more federal stimulus checks are coming is a scam.

According to the IRS, it never emails, texts or uses social media to contact taxpayers regarding a bill or tax refund. So, taxpayers must remain wary about any links from questionable sources.

Spam emails and text messages could also come from compromised accounts of friends or family. Thus, it is recommended that taxpayers do their best to verify the identity of the sender.

Talking about ways to identify a phishing email, the agency said one of the best ways to do so is by looking for spelling errors and factual inaccuracies.

Further, the IRS requests taxpayers to never click on unsolicited communication claiming to be the IRS as it could load malware. Hackers can also use the same method to load ransomware that will restrict original users from accessing their systems and files.

Apart from email and text scams involving third stimulus checks, the IRS also talked about scams related to other topics that users need to be cautious about, including the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), tax refunds and more.