The IRS on Thursday issued a warning about coronavirus-related scams, urging taxpayers to watch out for criminals who attempt to get their hands on people's recovery checks.
"We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn't going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster," IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a news release. "That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS."
The coronavirus relief law that President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE signed last week provides for one-time payments to people of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.
In most cases, the IRS will be able to send the payments via direct deposit without people taking any additional actions. The IRS also clarified late Wednesday that Social Security recipients who aren't typically required to file tax returns will automatically receive their payments. People who haven't previously provided direct-deposit information to the IRS will be able to do so via a secure portal starting in mid-April, the IRS said.
The IRS said that it has seen a wave of new phishing scams, and urged taxpayers to watch out for emails, text messages, websites and efforts via social media that seek money or personal information.
The agency said that scammers may ask people to sign over their direct payment, tell people that they need to verify their personal information to receive their check, or mail people a bogus check and then ask them to verify information to cash it.
“While you are waiting to hear about your economic impact payment, criminals are working hard to trick you into getting their hands on it," IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort said. "The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is working hard to find these scammers and shut them down, but in the meantime, we ask people to remain vigilant.”
People can forward suspicious emails to email@example.com.