IRS Warning About a COVID-Related Text Message Scam

COVID-19
​​According to a December 8 IRS COVID tax tip (COVID Tax Tip 2020-167)​, the IRS and its Security Summit partners are warning people to be aware of a new text message scam. The thief’s goal is to trick people into revealing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.​ Individuals get a text message saying they have “received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment… Continue here to accept this payment …" The text includes a link to a phishing web address.

This fake link appears to come from a state agency or relief organization. It takes people to a fake website that looks like the IRS.gov Get My Payment website. If people visit the fake website and enter their personal and financial account information, the scammers collect it. Anyone who receives this scam text should take a screenshot and include the screenshot in an email to phishing@irs.gov with the following information:
  • Date/time/time zone that they received the text message
  • The phone number that received the text message
The IRS doesn’t send unsolicited texts or emails. The agency will never demand immediate payment using a gift card, prepaid debit card or wire transfer or threaten to have a taxpayer arrested.