LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The IRS is warning people to be on the lookout for pandemic-related scams, including theft of benefits or fake social media posts.
The Internal Revenue Service put out the second wave of their “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2022, a list that they have compiled for more than 20 years as a way of alerting tax-payers about the scams and schemes to be aware of.
In the past few years, the IRS have noticed an uptake of scammers who try and capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic in order to steal people’s money and identity.
“Scammers continue using the pandemic as a device to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “I urge everyone to be leery of suspicious calls, texts and emails promising benefits that don’t exist.”
One type of scam to be aware of are stimulus payment and tax refund scams. The IRS encourages people to delete any texts, emails, or phone calls inquiring about bank account information related to stimulus checks or tax issues.
Remember: The IRS has already issued all Economic Impact Statements. If you are missing a stimulus payment or got less than the full amount, you can visit this link to file a claim.
Another scam to be weary of are unemployment frauds. Scammers have taken advantage of the unemployment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic to file fake claims for unemployment using stolen personal information.
In the same vein, look out for fake employment offers posted on social media, which are posted in order to entice people to provide their personal financial information. Be sure to verify an employment opportunity’s legitimacy before applying.
The last on the IRS’s list of scams to keep an eye out for are fake charities that try and steal your money.
Here are some tips to remember about fake charity scams:
- Don’t let callers pressure you. A legitimate charity would be happy to get a donation at any time. Donors are encouraged to take time to do the research.
- Potential donors should ask the fundraiser for the charity’s exact name, web address and, mailing address, so it can be confirmed later. Some telemarketers will use legitimate-sounding names to confuse people.
- Be careful how a donation is paid. Scammers will ask people to pay by using gift cards or wiring money. The safest way to pay is by credit card or check after doing your own research on the charity.