As a part of the federal stimulus package, the U.S. government says it will use a person’s 2019 tax return to calculate eligibility and automatically send the money to those who qualify. If you haven’t filed a 2019 return, now due in July, it will be based on your 2018 return.
Taxpayers receiving federal stimulus checks can also expect to receive calls, texts or emails from scammers attempting to obtain personal information that will help them change direct deposit information in order to intercept the stimulus checks.
The Better Business Bureau has reported that the level of stimulus scams has skyrocketed.
In cases reported so far, scammers are asking taxpayers or tax preparers to verify banking information through a phone call or are asking consumers to click on a link that goes to a fake website. The website then prompts a victim to enter personally identifiable information to a criminal.
“Taxpayers and tax preparers must be vigilant for direct deposit scams,” state Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “It’s bad enough when a single taxpayer is targeted. When tax preparers are also targeted, the personal information of many individual taxpayers could be disclosed all at once. Please be extra vigilant for scams during this unprecedented time.”
What you should know:
- No action will be required for the vast majority of Americans in order to receive the stimulus payments. Consumers do not need to sign up for anything.
- The Internal Revenue Service will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return or a 2018 tax return for information in order to send out the money via direct deposit or check.
- Don’t give out any personal information like your Social Security number, bank account number or any other personal information to anyone who calls, texts or emails you asking for it claiming it is needed for your stimulus check.
- Never click on any links texted or emailed to you – they may download malware onto your computer.
- Report attempted attempts to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can visit irs.gov/coronavirus for updates.
Tags: stimulus checks