Be Aware of These IRS Stimulus Check Scam Tactics

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The IRS has taken the step of urging taxpayers to be aware of emails and calls that can lead to people giving up their personal info to cybercriminals.

irsThe IRS has been telling taxpayers to take more care than before during this time. They has also reminded people that the IRS does not call taxpayers to collect or verify financial information in order to get a faster refund. The IRS also will never email nor text you asking for any information.

Cyberthieves have been taking advantage of people in times of trouble, and now that we are literally in the middle of a global pandemic, these scams are definitely on the rise.

Don’t Fall for It!

The IRS has seen many more phishing scams than ever before. It is easier for scammers to get money than you might think. All they have to do is give the IRS fake bank information. In most cases these days, the IRS will direct deposit payments right into the bank accounts of taxpayers. If you have never provided this, you can go online and do it…but so can scammers. If the IRS doesn’t get this information, it begins mailing checks, and of course, these can be intercepted by a scammer.

It is also important that you realize that people who have retired and don’t have to file a tax return simply get a check. They don’t have to do anything, and this makes retirees common targets for cybercriminals. The bad guys often reach out to older people by phone, mail, or email and ask for information such as their bank account number or Social Security number in order to verify their check. But remember…the IRS will never contact taxpayers via phone.

Additional Information

There are a number of signs that something could be a scam, and the IRS wants to remind people of this. Here are some of those signs:

  • In the case of the stimulus checks, the official name is the “Economic Impact Payment.” If you see other terms, like “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment,” it is probably a fake.
  • If you are asked to sign over a check to someone, it is definitely a scam.
  • If you are asked to verify your financial or personal information via text, mail, phone, or social media, it is a scam.
  • If the check you receive doesn’t look right, it is a scam.
  • If someone contacts you and says you can get your check faster if you give them more information, it is a scam.

How to Report an IRS Scam

If you think you are a victim of this type of scam, you should report it. If you get a fishy email, you should forward it to Experts also recommend that you don’t engage with cybercriminals on the internet or the phone. You can read more about this on the IRS website.

If you have questions about how the IRS is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, you can look at the agencies Coronavirus Tax Relief page on the internet.

Finally, consider identity theft protection services. While none of these services will prevent tax related identity theft, there are expert restoration agents on the ready to work with potential victims of this type of crime.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.

Comments (22)

Greg Brown, Sales Rep Toronto, Durham region
Sutton Group Heritage Reallty Inc., Brokerage - Whitby, ON

In Canada we get calls daily from peole stating they are from revenue Canada, many people know it is a scam. Yet, we have many older generations that have fallen for the scam and have lost Thousands of dollars. If Revenue Canada is really coming after you, they will knock on your door, gives you a chance to run out the back door, LOL...

Dec 07, 2020 05:00 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

So many scams, so little time. I grow weary of these time-wasters. But, you are so correct that we must stay vigilant.

Dec 07, 2020 05:51 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Those scum need to be strung up and flogged before an even more severe punishment begins.

Dec 07, 2020 06:02 AM
Mark Larkin
San Diego, CA
Digital Marketing | Real Estate Technology

Awesome, fantastic post, I just it on google search. Thanks for sharing such beautiful post here! 

Dec 07, 2020 06:41 AM
Lisa Smith
Keller Williams Capital Partners - Worthington, OH
Listings Manager

If scammers would just use their "skills" for good, what a different world we could have...thank you for sharing what to look out for!

Dec 07, 2020 06:45 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Robert Siciliano - Thank you for providing this very timely and important information. Investing my time to read your articles is worthwhile.

You are appreciated!

Dec 07, 2020 06:50 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Robert Siciliano,

What an excellent post to remind us of these scams that continue and are out in full force now with the holidays and the stimulus package that is offered. So appreciate the timeliness of your post.

Dec 07, 2020 07:13 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Robert, Thanks for the headsup to keep aware and vigilant.

Dec 07, 2020 03:08 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Robert this is excellent information to pass on to our SOI.  Thank you!

Dec 07, 2020 03:38 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Robert Siciliano  Thank you for this wonderful information

Dec 07, 2020 06:16 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks for the reporting address. For years I used, but for the last couple of months, it doesn't work.

Dec 07, 2020 08:06 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

the robo calls are CRAZY these days full of scams! Tons of these things almost daily! Absolutely nuts!

Dec 07, 2020 08:20 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

There are so many scams lately.  I heard from the "IRS" yesterday, a Sunday.  Today, there was an additional call from them, and 5 repeat "Apple Support" calls.

Dec 08, 2020 02:16 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks for the education and the tips on what to do. I've had a number emails, texts and calls from the "IRS" in the last year letting me know I am in big trouble and to contact them right away, among other things. Sadly there are people who WILL be intimidated and provide the information these scammers are looking for. Getting the word out is important!


Dec 08, 2020 06:11 PM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

No doubt... they are out there trying to make a living off your assets.  Constant reminders for the communities is necessary to get the word out... thank you for the posting,  .

Dec 09, 2020 07:04 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Robert Siciliano thank you for the warning about the IRS stimulus check scam tactics.

Dec 09, 2020 09:25 AM
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

I get scam calls several times a week and it's totaly annoying. Have they no shame? I guess not... Thank you for posting this!

Dec 09, 2020 05:31 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Just coming back to this one and saying that you guys are safe and sound. This is so despicable!

Dec 19, 2020 09:25 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson They say that people get about seven per day or something to that effect.

Dec 19, 2020 09:26 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center 262-567-2455 - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Jun 13, 2021 07:17 AM