LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN - COVID-19 SCAMS
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was created to provide independent oversight and protection of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees and programs. TIGTA has investigated scams in which individuals impersonate IRS officials in order to obtain personally identifiable information from unsuspecting taxpayers or to coerce them into making payments. We are committed to the prevention and detection of fraud and are cautioning Americans about scams related to the economic income payments (EIP) being dispersed by the IRS. Scammers have already devised impersonations schemes through phone calls, emails, texts or websites that ask for personal or financial information in order to steal EIPs.
BE ON THE LOOKOUT!
1. Scammers invent convincing reasons to request bank routing and account numbers or may ask you to pay a "processing fees" up front in order to receive the EIP. No one has early access to this money, it is a scam!
2. Scammers may call you to try and get you to verify your tax return information. The IRS is not going to contact you by telephone, it is a scam!
3. Scammers use phishing e-mail and text messages to victimize taxpayers by loading malicious software on their computers and utilizing victim information to file fraudulent tax returns.
4. Scammers are using an internet portals to access legitimate sites to hijack payments. Websites that require personal information, such as Social Security numbers, could be breached by hackers, which in turn, sell that information on the Dark Web. Fraudsters then could purchase that information to falsely make claims for stimulus payments in the victim’s name.
PLEASE DIRECT VICTIMS OF IRS RELATED CORONAVIRUS SCAMS, WITH EMPHASIS ON THOSE WHO HAVE LOST MONEY, TO:
tips.tigta.gov or to contact a local TIGTA Office