Federal authorities say scammers are using people’s vulnerability during the pandemic to glean as much personal information, using words like “COVID-19,” “coronavirus” and “stimulus” in emails and phone calls to get you to give up the data.
“The IRS will not call, text, email or contact you on social media to ask for personal information or banking information,” explained Thomas Fattorusso, special agent in charge for the IRS in Philadelphia.
He says an agent may call to set up a meeting, but they will never ask for the information over the phone.
“If you don’t feel comfortable with someone on the phone, we advise you hang up and don’t call that person back,” he said.
And if you get an email with a link or attachment, don’t open it.
“Emails could look official, but again, the IRS will not contact you for personal information, so delete those emails,” Fattorusso said.
You can also report fraud or theft of your Economic Impact Payments to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Reports can be made online at tips.tigta.gov.