Scammers continue to use IRS impersonation schemes to steal personal information or trick people out of their hard-earned money. In 2021, monitoring agencies saw a dramatic increase in text message tax scams, many of them related to the pandemic.
Several texting scams involve messages that appear to be from the IRS, claiming that the recipient is entitled to a coronavirus “stimulus payment.” The message may have a link to a bogus IRS or other official-looking website, created to harvest banking or other private information. Alternatively, the scammer may request a fee to help collect the supposed stimulus money.
As a rule, the IRS does not send text messages about personal tax matters, except for verification codes for taxpayers logging into their IRS accounts. Do not reply and do not click on any links.
The IRS also does not contact taxpayers via email to request personal or financial information, or leave urgent or threatening phone messages. If you receive a suspicious phone call or message from someone claiming to represent the IRS, hang up or do not reply. Play it safe and contact the IRS directly to inquire about the matter.