IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force urge the public to remain vigilant during these times

 

Date: April 23, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), along with the Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force, warns taxpayers to be alert about current scams relating to COVID-19 economic impact payments.

Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-CI Washington DC Field Office, made the announcement to warn people of the increase in phishing scams regarding economic impact payments.

"The community is experiencing enough hardship right now without needing to worry about scammers trying to steal their money that they desperately need," said IRS-CI SAC Jackson. "IRS-CI, along with our law enforcement counterparts are working hard to protect the public from these thieves. These types of investigations are being prioritizing to help protect taxpayers and the tax system"

"Fraudsters will use various phishing techniques, including text messages, emails, and letters delivered through the mail, to try to steal your personal information or swindle you out of your economic impact payment," said G. Zachary Terwilliger, co-leader of the Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "Please be vigilant. Simply put: Hang up on robocalls, do not provide your personal identifying information to anyone, and always confirm you are accessing legitimate links from IRS.gov."

We want to remind the community to be vigilant of scammers who are striving to steal your personal information and money. Please keep in mind that when using the tools on IRS.gov – "Get My Payment" and "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here," you must access these tools from IRS.gov. The IRS site will then transfer you to FreeFileFillableForms.com.

The IRS will not text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Recently, there has been an increase in phishing schemes utilizing emails, letters, texts and links. These contacts will often come in the form of unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites in an effort to lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information. Scammers will often use websites similar to valid ones - for example IRSGOV, IRS GOV, or using extra letters and/or spaces in lieu of IRS.GOV. We are aware of phishing emails coming from "customer_service@FreeFillableForms.com" which directs you to a link that contains "economic impact payment" and uses a company name similar to the Free File Alliance partner you are transferred to while using the IRS tool for Non-Filers. DO NOT click on the link – this is a scam. Other phishing schemes are using keywords such as "Corona Virus", "COVID-19", and "Stimulus" in varying ways.

When visiting a website or when you receive an email containing a link, pay close special attention to web address you are directed to in order ensure it is from a legitimate source. Watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds. Report suspicious emails to phishing@irs.gov.

To report any type of fraud, please call the National Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721 or go to https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

To report fraud directly to IRS-CI email WashingtonDCFieldOffice@ci.irs.gov.

For more information, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/coronavirus.