Scammers are stealing stimulus checks and tax refunds – what you need to be aware of and how to protect yourself | #socialmedia

SCAMMERS aren’t only stealing cash from Americans – they’re stealing personal information as well.

With the country trying to get back on its feet financially, scammers are taking advantage of the situation as the IRS issues a warning.


Scammers are still swindling money out of Americans waiting on tax returns and stimulus checks

The IRS advised people to be on the lookout for scams involving fake job offers, tax refunds, and stimulus checks.

Using unemployment information and fake job offers, not only are criminals getting away with the cash but with sensitive personal information as well.

“Caution and awareness are our best lines of defense against these criminals,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement.

Rettig urged Americans to be skeptical of calls, texts, and emails offering unexpected money or benefits.

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He also noted government websites can be used to verify any offers that appear to be from the state or federal government.

The most common scams

Criminals looking to commit identity theft and use economic impact payments and tax refunds as a way to get people’s attention.

According to the IRS, it will never initiate contact by phone, email, text, or social media and ask for Social Security numbers, as well as other personal or financial information.

Mailbox theft is also on the rise.

Routinely check your mail and report any suspected lost mail, especially if you’re waiting for money.

Scammers can and have filed for unemployment benefits using stolen information.

If you get a 1099-G form and did not apply for benefits, you should contact your appropriate state agency to get the correct form.

This can then be used to file your taxes and get the proper amount you’re owed.

Fake employment offers have become more popular are more people seek work.

These scams are used to get personal information and may even solicit money from you under the guise that it will be returned in your first paycheck.

Warning signs you’ve been scammed

Often, people don’t realize they’re dealing with a scammer until it’s too late.

Signs you may have been scammed on your taxes are as follows, according to the IRS.

  • A note that your dependent has already been claimed while filing taxes
  • A note your social security number has already been used while filing taxes
  • You get a tax transcript in the mail that you did not request.
  • You get an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
  • You get an IRS notice that you owe additional tax or refund offset, or that you have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.

You should also monitor your bank accounts and credit score.

If someone opens a new credit card in your name, it will show up on a credit report, and your bank may alert you to the new line of credit.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

There are some ways to save your information and deter future scammers.

You should immediately call the IRS or any final institution reaching out to you regarding changes to your account.

You can place a free one-year fraud alert at Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

No matter which company you contact, they will alert the other two.

The alert will make it harder for someone to open an account in your name because the business will take extra steps to verify your identity before making an approval.

Next, you can close any suspicious accounts and make sure your credit report is revised to reflect your actual score.

Identity theft should also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

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For more related news, Gmail has issued a warning about more complex phishing scams.

Plus, here’s a genius hack for your iPhone for dealing with suspicious texts.

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