Beware of Stimulus Payment Scams
Tax Professionals — here’s what taxpayers need to know about stimulus payment processing in order to protect themselves from scammers:
- Be alert for phone scams.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury Department, or any other government agency will not contact you by phone to collect information for stimulus payment processing. Period.
- Be alert for phishing scams.
Government agencies will not email or text you to collect information for stimulus payment processing. Watch for suspicious emails or texts with links or attachments requesting information for processing stimulus deposits or checks. If you receive one, do not click the link or open the attachment. It’s a scam. Delete it.
- Be alert for state-related scams.
State agencies will also not call, email or text you to collect information or a fee to process a stimulus payment. To date, no state has introduced their own version of a stimulus payment.
As of now, we are only aware of one communication a taxpayer will receive from the IRS. No later than 15 days after distributing a stimulus payment, the IRS is required to mail a notice to the taxpayer indicating the payment amount, whether the payment was mailed or deposited, and a phone number to call if the taxpayer did not receive the payment.
Victims or targets of stimulus payment scams should report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov/complaint.
We will provide more information about the IRS’s plans to process stimulus payments as it becomes available.