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Coronavirus Stimulus Check Scams Rise in Tax Season: Watch Out for These

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Coronavirus stimulus check scams

New coronavirus stimulus checks aren’t coming, so it is important that you don’t lose your hard earned money, as well as the money you got in stimulus checks. However, during the tax season, hackers and fraudsters get super active in trying to steal your personal information, and this year is no different. As in the past two years, and this year as well, fraudsters are using coronavirus stimulus check scams to trick users into getting their personal information. Thus, it is very important that you don’t fall for such scams. We have detailed a few tips in this article that could help you keep yourself safe from such scams.


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Coronavirus Stimulus Check Scams: Don’t Fall For These

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, Congress has approved three rounds of stimulus checks. Two were approved in 2020, while the third one was approved in 2021.

Though the pandemic is less severe now, many are still finding it hard to meet their financial needs, and thus, want more federal stimulus checks. Fraudsters are taking advantage of this and are tricking users into revealing their credentials by using stimulus checks as bait.

Fraudsters are texting or e-mailing tax payers claiming that they are eligible for a new stimulus check. The mail or the text says that the recipient is eligible for a new condition-free stimulus check and that they need to share their personal information, such as social security, credit card or bank account details, to claim their check.

Moreover, to make the mail or text sound more genuine, fraudsters pretend to be from the IRS or any other government agency.

Earlier this month, the IRS also updated its warnings about possible coronavirus stimulus check scams that taxpayers could face this tax season, and the scams via text messages top the list. These text messages usually include a bogus link that claims to be an IRS URL.

Further, the IRS warned people to be cautious of incoming calls that spoof IRS phone numbers on the victim’s caller ID. The caller, who claims to be an IRS agent, encourages the user to share his or her personal details. There have also been cases when the caller has demanded payment for an outstanding tax bill or improperly received stimulus payment. In some cases, the caller has even threatened people with arrest.

How To Stay Safe?

Once fraudsters get their hands on your credentials, it is very easy for them to steal your money within minutes. Thus, it is very important that you stay away from such coronavirus stimulus check scams. Though the IRS and other federal agencies are working to catch such fraudsters, you also need to do your part by identifying such scams.

There is no sure shot way to identify such scams, but one best way to avoid falling for such scams is to always remember that the government will never contact you and ask for your personal details. Moreover, you must also remember that an email from the government will be from a ‘.gov’ address.

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