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IRS sees increase in Economic Impact Payment scams

The IRS says they have received a record number of complaints in June and July of 2021, which...
The IRS says they have received a record number of complaints in June and July of 2021, which is more they have seen in a decade.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 10:13 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there has been an uptick in scams mostly relating to Economic Impact Payments.

Scammers would convince unsuspecting victims to enter their personal information or submit a payment, which is then exploited.

Below is an example of IRS impersonation emails and text messages:

IRS Scam Example
IRS Scam Example(IRS)
IRS Scam Example
IRS Scam Example(IRS)

The IRS says they have received a record number of complaints in June and July of 2021, which is more they have seen in a decade.

Recent scam reports include:

  • Text messages stating that a taxpayer is eligible for a “stimulus payment” and they must click on a link to complete the necessary information to claim it.
  • Phishing emails claiming the IRS has calculated a taxpayer’s “fiscal activity” and they are eligible for an Economic Impact payment in a specific amount.

Taxpayers should lookout for the following indicators of a scam:

  • Grammatical, capitalization and spelling errors
  • Unsolicited texts or emails
  • Threats of jail or lawsuits
  • Demanding tax payments on gift cards or via cryptocurrency
  • Shortened URLs, which can lead to fraudulent websites

If you receive unsolicited emails or social media attempts to gather information that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, you can forward the message to phishing@irs.gov.

If you are a victim of identity theft as a result of a scam, click here.

You can report fraud or theft of their Economic Impact Payments to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Reports can be made online here.

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