Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force warns of scams surrounding stimulus checks

Virginia News

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force issued a warning to the public on Thursday about financial scams regarding stimulus checks currently being distributed by the IRS.

Millions of Americans will receive the Economic Impact Payments, or stimulus checks.

The IRS says for individuals who do not use direct deposit, and other groups who have received tax refunds via paper check, they will receive their stimulus payment as a hard copy check.

“These payments do not need to be confirmed, authorized, or activated, and you should assume that any unsolicited calls or emails from individuals or entities who claim to be associated with the IRS are fraudulent,” said Thomas T. Cullen, co-leader of the task force and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

IRS launched two new tools recently: “Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here” allows quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for those who don’t normally file a tax return and, “Get My Payment” which enables taxpayers to check the status of their payment, including the date their payment is scheduled to be deposited into their bank account or mailed to them.

To access both tools click here.

“Providing the community with knowledge about how Economic Impact Payments are being distributed and warning of potential scams is key in helping prevent taxpayers from becoming victimized,” said Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

IRS Criminal Investigation says they are working to combat scams attempting to exploit economic impact payments and other provisions related to COVID-19.

The DOJ says there has been an increase in phishing schemes utilizing emails, letters, texts, and links. Officials say these phishing schemes are using keywords such as “Corona Virus”, “COVID-19”, and “Stimulus”.

The Department of Justice urges that they remain vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force, visit their website.

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