No matter how dramatic the situation, there will always be fraudsters trying to take advantage of other people.
The outbreak of Coronavirus is no exception to this rule. Individuals are using the present circumstances to try to trick others, particularly retirees, into providing their banking details. They send messages by mail, email, social media or text claiming to need the recipient’s information in order to send their Economic Impact Payment. This is a phishing attempt; don’t provide any personal details and report the incident immediately.
The Truth About Economic Impact Payments
Economic Impact Payments are stimulus the US Government gives to taxpayers affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Those eligible are tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals or up to $150,000 for couples filing jointly. If your income is above these amounts, the payment will be reduced by $5 for each $100 above the threshold.
Single filers with adjusted gross income of more than $99,000 or $198,000 for joint filers are not eligible for Economic Impact Payments.
The IRS will deposit payments using the information included in the taxpayers’ 2019 tax return (or 2018 if they haven’t filed yet). If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information, don’t worry. An official website will be online by mid-April so you can provide these details securely. If the IRS doesn’t get your direct deposit information, they’ll mail a check to the address they have on file.
These are some of the strategies used by fraudsters trying to get your information with malicious intent.
- The term Economic Impact Payment is not used in the message. The terms “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment” appear instead.
- A fake check with an odd amount is mailed, and you are ordered to call a number or verify information online to cash it
- You’re asked to check your Economic Impact Payment to someone else.
- You’re asked by phone, email or social media to verify your information in order to receive or speed up your Economic Impact Payment.
Report and Get More Information
If you believe you are victim of a phishing attempt, don’t engage the sender. Forward the message to the IRS (email@example.com).
You can find more detailed information about Economic Impact Payments on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page of the official IRS website.
Our experts at The JCC Group will assist you with all matters related to taxes. Contact us today by email, telephone (859-543-1322) or through our social media accounts to learn more about our services and our drive to offer great value to our clients.