Stimulus Payment Text Scam: What You Need to Know

The IRS has warned taxpayers of a clever stimulus payment text scam by internet scammers that tricks taxpayers into revealing their bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment (EIP). The current scam is 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.

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. Individuals who visit the fraudulent website and then enter their personal and financial account information will have their information collected by the scammers.

The IRS is asking people that receive this stimulus payment text scam not to go to the fake website or enter their financial information. Instead, take a screenshot of the text message that was received and include it in an email to phishing@irs.gov with the following information:

  • Date/Time/Time zone that the text message was received
  • The number that appeared on Caller ID
  • The number that received the text message

Be aware that 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 encounter any such communication, you can forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

If you believe you are eligible for the EIP and have not already received it, you can go directly to IRS.gov and search for Get My Payment. Payments not received in advance can be claimed when you file your 2020 tax return next year.

If you have questions about any tax or financial text or email, please call Cray Kaiser at 630-953-4900 before taking action.

Click here for more COVID-19 resources.

Please note that this blog is based on laws effective in November 2020 and may not contain later amendments. Please contact Cray Kaiser for the most recent information.