ST. LOUIS, MO — The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) is warning taxpayers in the St. Louis Field Office about a new wave of COVID-19-related scams as the agency delivers the second round of Economic Impact Payments. For more than half a year, IRS-CI has seen a variety of Economic Impact Payment (EIP) scams and other financial schemes designed to steal money and personal information from taxpayers. Criminals are taking advantage of the second round of Economic Impact Payments – as well as the approaching filing season – to trick honest taxpayers out of their hard-earned money.
· Text messages asking taxpayers to disclose bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payments.
· Phishing schemes using email, letters and social media messages with key words such as “Coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” and “stimulus” in varying ways. These communications are blasted to large numbers of people and aim to access personally identifying information and financial account information (including account numbers and passwords).
· The organized and unofficial sale of fake at-home COVID-19 test kits (as well as offers to sell fake cures, vaccines, pills, and professional medical advice regarding unproven COVID-19 treatments).