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In a call or message on social media: the IRS warns how scammers seek to keep your stimulus check

More than 150 million stimulus checks have been mailed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For this reason, authorities have warned how scammers are trying to deceive recipients and how these Economic Impact Payment are being processed.
20 Abr 2021 – 03:36 PM EDT
More than 150 million stimulus checks have been mailed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Crédito: Feverpitched/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The mailing of the third stimulus check has again given way to scammers looking for ways to defraud recipients. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has sent more than 150 million of Economic Impact Payments, so authorities such as the acting head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have warned to be attentive to the tactics being used to commit this kind of fraud.

Sometimes the scammer contacts people by phone, email, text message, or on their social media, pretending to be a worker for a government agency, such as the IRS, and asking for personal information, such as a Social Security number, to process or even supposedly speed up the dispatch of the check and request a money advance to send it.

Another way in which they have tried to deceive is through an email with a link in which the person is supposed to put their personal information to verify their identity and then receive the Economic Impact Payment. The objective is to obtain the key data of the person in what is known as phishing.

Some scammers have sent bogus checks, similar to those issued by the IRS, but for amounts greater than those determined by the government for people to cash and then return the alleged 'additional' amount. For example, a bogus check for an amount greater than the most recent $ 1,400 stimulus check per adult or dependent.

“The government won't call or text you”, said Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, acting president of the consumer protection agency FTC, the national consumer protection agency, as she stressed that government agencies will never ask for information in exchange for sending stimulus checks.

"You should know that no one in the government will ask you to make a payment in advance to then receive your Economic Impact Payment. (Nor) is there a way to receive the payment faster and there is no need to fill out any forms. This is simply a scam" Slaughter said in a video.

"Second, the government will not call you, send you an email, text message or through social media asking for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card. Anyone who asks for this is a scammer," he added. "Anyone who asks you to pay via money transfer, gift card or virtual currency is a scammer," she said.

The IRS also offered recommendations to verify that your stimulus check is official. For example, all checks sent by the government are printed on paper with a watermark from the United States Treasury that reads U.S. Treasury.

In addition, it has made it clear that the checks are sent by direct deposit to the bank accounts that they have in their systems since the taxpayers presented their tax returns or physically by postal mail.

If you still haven't received your third stimulus check, you can check the status of your shipment in the IRS Get My Payment tool. And, if you think you've been the victim of aid check fraud, you can contact the FTC on this page to file your claim.