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Don’t Fall Prey to Coronavirus Tricks; Retirees Among Potential Targets

Don’t Fall Prey to Coronavirus Tricks; Retirees Among Potential Targets

April 9, 2020 | Read Time: 3 Minutes

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Over the past weeks, the IRS and its Criminal Investigation Division have seen a wave of new and evolving phishing schemes against taxpayers, especially targeted towards retirees. With a vast array of information out there, the Huberty COVID-19 Planning Team assembled what you should know about your economic impact payments and how you can avoid falling victim to these scams. Here is how you can expect your payment to arrive based on your tax filing history:

If You Used Direct Deposit for Previous Taxes
In most cases, the IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit account taxpayers previously provided for their tax returns.

If You Would Like to Use Direct Deposit but Haven’t Used it for Previous Taxes
Those taxpayers who have previously filed but did not provide direct deposit information to the IRS will be able to provide their banking information online to a newly designed secure portal on IRS.gov in mid-April.

If You Have Not Provided Any Direct Deposit
If the IRS does not have a taxpayer's direct deposit information, a check will be mailed to the address on file. Taxpayers should not provide their direct deposit or other banking information for others to input on their behalf into the secure portal.

If You Do Not File Taxes
The IRS also reminds retirees who don't normally have a requirement to file a tax return that no action on their part is needed to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. Seniors should be especially careful during this period. The IRS reminds retirees – including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 − that no one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail, or in-person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment, also sometimes referred to as rebates or stimulus payments. The IRS is sending these $1,200 payments automatically to retirees – no additional action or information is needed on their part to receive this.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words "Stimulus Check" or "Stimulus Payment." The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text, or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information, saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer's behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

If you’re not sure if the electronic communication is official, remember you likely do not have to do anything to get your economic impact payment. If you receive a communication that you suspect might be a scam, reach out to a family member or your trusted financial advisor or contact Huberty by filling out the contact form on our website.

From the IRS.gov website