Attorney General Mark Brnovich is warning consumers about a reported increase in the amount of stimulus check email and text scams. With the third round of economic stimulus checks on the way to many Arizonans, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has seen an uptick in consumer complaints involving unsolicited text messages from scammers pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The phishing text messages typically include a URL that redirects consumers to an imitation IRS website. These scammer sites, which may appear legitimate, will ask for personal and financial details, including bank account information. This is a scam.
“These shameless scammers surface every time a new round of stimulus funds are set to be distributed to Americans,” said Attorney General Brnovich. “We are reminding Arizonans to be patient and remain vigilant against giving in to scams that exploit economic impact payments.”
Attorney General Brnovich offers the following consumer tips:
- Beware of and do not respond to unverified calls, text messages or emails that ask for personal identifying information.
- The IRS will not initiate contact with you by email or text message regarding your economic impact funds, nor will any other government agency.
- Never click on any links or use any phone number provided within an unsolicited text message.
- If you receive a suspicious message that you think is from a government agency, independently verify the contents by contacting the agency using the designated information listed on their official website.
- You will never have to pay a fee to receive your economic impact payment, and a third party cannot speed up the disbursement process.
You can securely check your economic impact payment status, including how or when the funds were issued, using the IRS “Get My Payment” tool. If you did not receive any payments or received less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit, but you must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t usually file. Additional information regarding economic impact payments can be found on the IRS website.
As a reminder, the Attorney General’s Office has a COVID-19 webpage dedicated to providing consumers with the latest information on coronavirus scams and frauds.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the AGO website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the AGO in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.