IRS Warns Of Scams Ahead Of Stimulus Check Arrival

Andrew Greenstein
April 02, 2020 - 4:05 pm

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - While the IRS is hard at work sending out stimulus checks, scammers are hard at work to take that money away from you.

"Criminals use times like these to prey upon our most vulnerable members of our communities," says Tamera Cantu, special agent in charge of the Criminal Investigation Unit at the IRS Dallas Field Office.

"Right now, some of the scammers are sending fraudulent checks out, and they are not the checks from the Treasury," says Cantu, who notes that the real checks will be sent out in about three weeks. "If you're receiving a check this week, that is not from the Treasury."

Furthermore, many will be receiving their stimulus checks electronically.

"The correct checks are going to be coming to the bank account listed," Cantu says. "If you filed electronically and listed a bank account on line 1, that money will go in direct deposit."

And Cantu notes that the IRS already has the direct deposit information.

"The IRS will not be calling and asking you, 'What is your bank account number?' We will not be emailing you and asking you that information to send out a stimulus check."

Scammers are also resorting to threatening phone calls to unsuspecting folks.

"They'll tell you that you owe money to them and (will) get you to try to sign over a check to them," says Cantu.

Owing back taxes will not prevent people from receiving stimulus checks, as long as they meet the income requirements.

If you get a scam phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, do not engage with the caller.

"Hang up on them," says Cantu. "Don't listen to them. Even if you know they're a scam, do not listen to them. Just hang up immediately.