The pandemic rages on and still the only government relief many Americans have seen was a stimulus check in the spring. People are desperate and, unfortunately, folks looking for any way out can be easy marks. A new text scam is phishing for personal information by impersonating the Internal Revenue Service and promising another $1200 stimulus check.
"You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND," the text reads, according to the IRS. "Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment …"
Anyone who clicks the link is taken to a fake portal impersonating the Get My Payment site that the IRS used for the first round of checks.
"Criminals are relentlessly using COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments as cover to try to trick taxpayers out of their money or identities," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. "This scam is a new twist on those we've been seeing much of this year. We urge people to remain alert to these types of scams."
The IRS is encouraging anyone who received the texts to email email@example.com along with screenshots of the scam texts.
Congress has failed to agree to any new stimulus packages after several attempts have stalled in the Senate. Though Donald Trump made noise about a potential relief to gin up support for his re-election campaign, no further relief appears to be forthcoming as the US heads into yet another coronavirus spike.