If someone texts you promising a $1,200 stimulus check, don't click.
That's the message the IRS is sending to Americans with regard to the latest text scam related to the one-time stimulus payments the government sent out this past spring.
The text scam typically reads, "You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment …"
The link that accompanies the message is a fake phishing URL. It directs people to an imitation IRS site, and then asks for their personal and financial details, including bank account information.
The IRS is reminding people that it does not send these kinds of unsolicited texts or emails. The government tax agency also never demands tax payments via gift cards or threatens people with jail or lawsuits.
"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 in a statement. "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."
If you receive such a text message, the IRS encourages you to take a screenshot and email it to the agency at email@example.com. Be sure to include the date and time of the message, the phone number from which it came, as well as the phone number that received the text.
If you still have not received a stimulus check and believe you are eligible for one, you have until Nov. 21 to submit your information through the IRS' non-filer tool in order to get the money this year. The non-filer tool is designed for individuals and families who do not typically file federal tax returns due to low income.