Scams

Watch Out for Stimulus Check Texting Scam

Scammers are sending text messages that trick people into disclosing bank account information to get a $1,200 stimulus check.

According to the IRS, there's a new stimulus check texting scam that you need to know about. Thieves are sending text messages saying, "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 text then has a link to a fake phishing website that looks like the IRS's online "Get My Payment" portal. The idea is to trick people into disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving a $1,200 stimulus check. Unfortunately, if you visit the fraudulent website and then enter your personal and financial account information, you will actually be giving this information to scammers.

Remember that neither the IRS nor any state agency will ever text you to ask for bank account information to make a stimulus check payment. They don't send unsolicited texts or emails. And they don't call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, or demand tax payments on gift cards.

If you receive one of these phony text messages, take a screenshot of it and email it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. Also include the:

  • Date and time (including time zone) you received the text message;
  • Number that appeared on your Caller ID; and
  • Number that received the text message.

If who believe you're eligible for a stimulus check, go directly to IRS.gov. If you're not required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return, but you're eligible for a stimulus check, you have until November 21 to use the IRS's non-filers tool to claim your payment.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
Can't Sleep at Night? Consider Getting Checked Out By a Doctor
health insurance

Can't Sleep at Night? Consider Getting Checked Out By a Doctor

Older adults are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Left untreated these conditions can have dire consequen…
May 26, 2021
Midyear Investing Outlook: Where to Invest Now
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

Midyear Investing Outlook: Where to Invest Now

After a powerful start, stocks will grind higher in the second half of 2021. But watch out for curveballs.
May 23, 2021

Recommended

Tax Day 2021: When's the Last Day to File Your Taxes?
tax deadline

Tax Day 2021: When's the Last Day to File Your Taxes?

Like last year, the IRS pushed Tax Day back this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 11, 2021
Tax Deadlines Extended for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana Winter Storm Victims
Tax Breaks

Tax Deadlines Extended for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana Winter Storm Victims

Following FEMA's disaster declarations for winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, victims of the storms in those states get more time to file…
June 10, 2021
IRS Extends Tax Deadlines for Louisiana Storm Victims
Tax Breaks

IRS Extends Tax Deadlines for Louisiana Storm Victims

Following FEMA's recent disaster declaration for severe storms and flooding Louisiana, impacted taxpayers get more time to file and pay certain federa…
June 10, 2021
Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide
state tax

Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide

Don't be surprised by an unexpected state tax bill on your unemployment benefits. Know where unemployment compensation is taxable and where it isn't.
June 10, 2021