Scams for Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds Have Already Started
Police across the U.S. are beginning to receive reports of scams that have already begun ahead of stimulus funds being sent to individuals for relief during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Internal Revenue Service has a website section on the highly-anticipated Economic Impacts Payments. One of the questions that has opened the playing field for scammers is, "How will the IRS know where to deposit my money?"
This question has led to some becoming victims of scam callers who are pretending to be authorized IRS representatives and requesting bank account information for direct deposit.
The latest update on the website suggests that payments will begin distribution in the next month: "The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment."
The IRS, however, will not be calling to ask about your bank account information:
"In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail."
If you have received a call from someone posing as a representative from the IRS asking for bank account information, please call the non-emergency line for the Lubbock Police Department to make a report at 806-775-2865.