IRS Warns of Surge in Economic Stimulus Payment Scams
The IRS has warned Americans about an influx in scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic occurring over either email, phone calls, or social media that requests personal information while using fraudulent IRS stimulus checks as a lure. The scam campaign can result in identity theft and tax-related fraud and is capitalizing on the current pandemic to trick vulnerable targets into giving away sensitive information.
Emails that appear to be coming from the IRS may instead be threat actors, and the IRS warns not to click on any attachments or links without first verifying the information on IRS.gov. On March 30, Cisco Talos had already detected an increase in suspicious stimulus-based domains being registered as threat actors prepared for COVID-19 themed attacks. In the next three weeks, COVID-19 economic impact payments are meant to be distributed, however, the scam emails will promise that this date will be sooner.