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The IRS has yet again released it’s “Dirty Dozen” scams for 2022.

This week we’ll cover all COVID scams and how to avoid falling victim to them.

Economic Impact Payment From COVID Scams

The Scam:

You may receive text messages, random incoming phone calls or emails asking for you to input your bank account information or click a link to verify data. They may inquire about stimulus payments or tax refunds, so beware that the scam applies to both payments.

Signs it’s a Scam:

The IRS never contacts individuals via phone, email, text or social media asking for Social Security numbers or other personal or financial information related to Economic Impact Payments or tax refunds. If there is a need for the IRS to contact you, they will usually do so via postal mail.

Additionally, the IRS has already issued all Economic Impact Payments, so there should be no need for them to contact you for more information.

What You Need To Do:

Do not give any information, reply, or take any action. Routinely check your mailbox to prevent theft. Delete and block any suspicious emails or phone numbers.

 

Unemployment Fraud

The Scam:

Since many were filing for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers filed fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims.

Signs it’s a Scam:

If you received Form 1099-G reporting unemployment compensation you didn’t receive, this is a sign that you’ve been a victim of this scam.

What You Need To Do:

Contact your state agency for a corrected form. If you cannot receive a corrected form in time to file your taxes, complete your return claiming only the unemployment compensation and other income you actually received. See Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits for tax details and DOL.gov/fraud for state-by-state reporting information.

 

Fake employment offers posted on social media

The Scam:

Fake job postings are increasing in frequency on social media.

Signs it’s a Scam:

These fake posts will convince you to enter your personal financial information, which can then be used to file a fraudulent tax return.

What You Need To Do:

Do not enter your personal financial information to apply for a job. Always research the company you are applying to work for to ensure its legitimacy.

 

Fake charities

The Scam:

Fake charities entice you to donate to them. In recent months, scammers have created fake charities to blend in with the many COVID relief charities.

Signs it’s a scam:

While they may be clever at getting you to believe you are donating to a real charity, there are some signs. If the caller is very pushy and puts pressure on you to donate immediately, that may be a sign of illegitimacy.

Fake charities may also ask you to pay by giving gift cards or by wiring money.

What You Need To Do:

Do your research! you may only get a tax deduction if you donate to a qualified charity. You can find a list of qualified charities using the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search tool.

Ask for the charity’s exact name, web address and mailing address to confirm it later.

If you feel that a charity is legitimate after you have done your research, the safest course of action is to pay via credit card or by check.

If you feel that you’ve been the victim of these COVID scams, contact us.