Beware fraud schemes related to COVID-19

Be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the COVID-19 economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money.

This warning comes from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI).

Automatic COVID-19 economic impact payments started depositing into taxpayers’ accounts on April 11. For most Americans, this will be a direct deposit into their bank account. For the unbanked, retirees or other groups who have traditionally received tax refunds via paper check, they will receive their economic impact payment in this same manner.

Scammers will try to get you to sign over your check to them or try to get you to “verify” your filing information in order to receive your money. They will use your personal information to file false tax returns in an identity theft scheme. Because of this, everyone receiving a COVID-19 related economic impact payment from the government is at risk.

“The existence of a deadly national pandemic will not stop criminals seeking to capitalize on the fears and difficulties faced by the public as they try to line their own pockets by stealing your money or your personal information,” said Karl Stiften, special agent in charge of the IRS-CI St. Louis field office.

Read the full story on Capital Journal.