The IRS is warning people that scammers are using a fake government stimulus offer to get their personal information.
As Congress continues to work out what to do with the second round of stimulus checks, scammers are using that opportunity to steal your identity by flooding cell phones with a text message.
The text message claims that you have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 Treas (SIC) Fund. It also says further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Then, you will be instructed to click a link to finish accepting your money, but that’s the hook set for you by the scammers.
“Don’t click on unfamiliar links, whether it’s coming from a text message, an email, or a pop-up on your computer,” said Catherine Honeycutt of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina.
“Never click on a suspicious link, especially if they are from an unfamiliar source,” she said.
The link on the text message takes you to a fake IRS website, where people are requested to enter details about their personal and financial accounts.
“You can always hover over the links to see what the actual URL is,” Honeycutt said.
Hovering over the link will show that it’s not an official government site. The real IRS Website has a secure lock icon and must have dot Gov as part of its address, the dot Gov indicates that it’s not a faked address. There is a also banner with an American flag on the real IRS website saying it’s an official website of the US government. However, don’t rely solely on it since it’s easy to copy.
Report it right away to irs.gov If you have received a text like that.