North Dakota U.S. Attorney’s Office Warns Taxpayers of COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams
Scammers will attempt to trick tax payers into verifying their filing information in order to receive their check.
BISMARCK, N.D.–The North Dakota U.S. Attorney’s Office and the IRS are warning taxpayers about scammers stealing COVID-19 economic impact payments.
“The existence of a deadly national pandemic will not stop criminals seeking to capitalize on the fears and difficulties faced by the public as they try to line their own pockets by stealing your money or your personal information,” IRS-CI Special Agent Karl A. Stiften said.
While many Americans will be receiving stimulus checks directly deposited into bank accounts, many more will be receiving paper checks. The Americans receiving paper checks are more vulnerable to these scams.
Scammers will attempt to trick tax payers into verifying their filing information in order to receive their check. Once scammers have personal information, they may file false tax returns in an identity theft scheme.
Special Agent Stiften says tax payers should use the following information and tips to spot a scam:
• The IRS will deposit your check into the direct deposit account you previously provided on your tax return (or, in the alternative, send you a paper check).
• The IRS will not call and ask you to verify your payment details. Do not give out your bank account or any other account information – even if someone claims it’s necessary to get your check. It’s a scam.
• If you receive a call, don’t engage with scammers or thieves, even if you want to tell them that you know it’s a scam, or you think that you can beat them. Just hang up.
• If you receive texts or emails claiming that you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, delete them. Don’t click on any links in those emails or texts.
• Reports are also swirling about bogus checks. If you receive a check that requires that you verify the check online or by calling a number, it’s a fraud.
U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota Drew H. Wrigley says, “The global pandemic has created opportunities for fraudulent schemes that attempt to pray on uncertainty. But this much is certain: law enforcement remains committed to public safety and we need the public to partner with us by following the simple IRS guidelines for protecting privacy and guarding against fraud.”
For more information, or to report a scam, visit: https://www.irs.gov