Daily Update COVID-19 From the Business Accountants at Wouch Maloney

New COVID-related Text Message Phishing Scam

With the November 21, 2020, deadline to claim your Economic Impact Payment approaching, scams continue to gain traction. While most individuals know the status of their $1,200 Economic Impact Payment from the US Treasury, scammers are still finding ways to target taxpayers.  

The Security Summit, which includes the IRS, 42 state tax agencies and 20 organizations consisting of tax and financial institutions, issued a warning on November 4, 2020, that thieves are using text messages about the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment to trick people into disclosing bank account information or Personally Identifiable Information.  

The scam text message states:  “You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment …”

The text includes a link to a fake phishing web address which appears to be from a state agency or relief organization. The fake site impersonates the IRS.gov Get My Payment website. Some recipients of this text have completed the form and provided their personal and financial accounting information, which is collected by the scammers.

If you receive this message or have already received this message, the IRS is requesting your help. Please take a screen shot of the text message and send a copy via email to: phishing@irs.gov and include the following information:

  • Date/Time/Time zone that text message was received
  • The number that appeared on their Caller ID
  • The number that received the text message

Please note that the IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails. The IRS does not call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, nor does it demand tax payments on gift cards.

If you have not received your Economic Impact Payment and you believe you are eligible, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov. If you do not have a filing requirement but are eligible for an EIP, you can use a non-filers tool on IRS.gov until 3 PM Eastern Time on November 21 to claim your payment.

Should you have questions about this or other topics, please know we are available to speak by phone at 215-675-8364.

DISCLAIMER: The WM Daily Update COVID-19, COVID-19 Business Resources and COVID-19 Client News Alerts and other related communications are intended to provide general information on legislative COVID-19 relief measures as of the date of this communication and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.