Beware of scams involving jobs, stimulus checks and tax refunds, warns IRS

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on April 7, 2022.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images News | Getty Images

IRS warns taxpayers to watch out for scams involving fake job offers, tax refunds and pandemic-era benefits like stimulus checks as criminals continue to use the health crisis in courses to steal money and data.

“Con artists continue to use the pandemic as a way to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. bulletin published on Monday.

Rettig urged Americans to be wary of suspicious calls, texts and emails promising non-existent benefits and suggested people verify information on a trusted government website like IRS.gov.

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The federal government has issued all three authorized rounds of stimulus checks (formerly known as economic impact payments), and most eligible people have already received their checks, according to the IRS.

But thieves are still using stimulus checks to lure victims and “pose a continuing threat,” the agency said.

People missing a stimulus payment were able to claim a recovery rebate credit for the remainder on their 2020 or 2021 tax return. But they may still be waiting for their refund. As of May 20, the IRS had issued 96 million refunds this filing season.

The easiest way to check the status of a refund is to visit the “Where’s my refund?” section. online tool or using the IRS2Go application.

“Any random incoming text messages, phone calls, or emails requesting bank account information, asking recipients to click a link, or verify data should be considered suspicious and deleted without opening,” the IRS said. . “That not only includes stimulus payments, but also tax refunds and other common issues.”

Fake job postings have also been posted on social media, tricking people into sharing their personal information, according to the IRS. This creates a tax risk as criminals can use the data to file a fraudulent tax return on behalf of the victim.

Scammers continue to use the pandemic as a way to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information.

chuck rettig

tax commissioner

Job postings in April were near all-time highs amid historic demand for workers.

Scammers have also taken advantage of mass unemployment during the pandemic by using stolen personal data to apply for unemployment benefits on behalf of others.

Taxpayers who received a 1099-G tax form detailing the benefits they did not receive should contact their appropriate state agency to obtain a corrected form, the IRS said. The state will issue an amended tax form and update the file with the IRS on your behalf, according to the US Department of Labor.

Did you receive a stimulus check during the pandemic? I would like to talk to you for a story about the impact of the funds on your financial habits (e.g. has it changed the way you think about money? Has it helped you build an emergency fund?) Please contact Greg at gregory [email protected] if you want to share.

Lance B. Holton