What to do to avoid the new COVID-19 scams

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Stimulus checks are a necessity for many Americans and scammers want to use that money and need for it against you. 

Americans have been receiving their checks but the IRS is warning everyone to beware of scammers trying to take that money. 

IRS Special Agent in Charge Kelly Jackson warns that scammers will try to trick you through phone calls, emails, and text messages. 

She says to avoid the obvious like giving out personal information, but even clicking on a link in an unexpected email or text message can also compromise your security.  

“Never ever ever provide your personal identifying information to anybody unless you initiated that contact.  Don’t trust when somebody says they’re with a business or with the IRS or with some other government agency when they cold call you out of the blue.  If you initiated that contact, and somebody’s responding to you, then that’s a totally different story, but we’re not going to cold call you.” 

Kelly R. Jackson – IRS Special Agent in Charge 

Jackson also says if the IRS does need to reach out, they will contact you through the mail.  

COVID-19 scams should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Control at 1-866-720-5721 or at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud

Economic Impact Payment fraud should be reported online at tips.tigta.gov

…and if you are receiving emails or messages from someone that claims to be the IRS, forward the message to phishing@irs.gov

The IRS encourages you to send the messages to that email address instead of engaging with possible scammers directly.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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