Consumer Alert: Scammers pose as IRS in Coronavirus Economic Impact Payment text scheme

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Scammers continue to use the Coronavirus pandemic to their advantage.

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Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a text message from the Internal Revenue Service about a COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment.

“The message says, ‘hey, you’ve received a $1,200 COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment from the Treasury, but click here to verify some information,” said Justin Campbell, IRS Special Agent in Charge.

No matter how convincing the message may seem, never click on the link included in the text.

“Unfortunately, if they click on the link they will be taken to a website that will appear legitimate. It’ll look like an IRS website. It’ll have official looking banners and it’ll be very hard to detect that it’s not real.”

The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails to taxpayers. They will also never call taxpayers or demand payments on gift cards.

“I know that that the Economic Impact Payment is needed for a lot of folks and the IRS has sent millions out already. However, don’t let your guard down. Realize that we will only communicate via mail.”

People who receive this text scam should take a screenshot of the message and email to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

The report to the IRS should include:

-Date/Time/Time zone that they received the text message

-The number that appeared on their Caller ID

-The number that received the text message

For more information about the Economic Impact Payment text scam, click here.

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