By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry warned of a new text scam Wednesday that attempts to get people to disclose their bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.

The IRS is reminding taxpayers that neither the IRS nor state agencies will ever text taxpayers asking for bank account information to receive the payment.

“Criminals are relentlessly using COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments as cover to try to trick taxpayers out of their money or identities,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “This scam is a new twist on those we’ve been seeing much of this year. We urge people to remain alert to these types of scams.”

The text, which contains a link to a fake phishing web address, states: “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 web address then takes recipients to a fraudulent website that impersonates the IRS.gov Get My Payment website.

Individuals who enter their personal and financial account information will have their information collected by the scammers.

People who receive the text scam should take a screenshot of the text message that they received and then include the screenshot in an email to phishing@irs.gov with the following information:

  • Date/Time/Timezone that they received the text message;
  • the number that appeared on their Caller ID; and
  • the number that received the text message.

The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails, nor does it call people with threats of jail or lawsuits or demand tax payments on gift cards.

People who believe they are eligible for the Economic Impact Payment should go directly to IRS.gov.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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