IRS warns of more coronavirus scams

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Since the first round of stimulus checks, the IRS has seen more COVID-19 scams.

As they’re sending out the second round of checks, they want people to be aware of a new wave of coronavirus scams.

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“It could happen to anybody at anytime,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Karen Wingerd said.

Here are some common scams they’re seeing and ones you should look out for:

– Text messages about stimulus checks that ask for bank account information.

– Coronavirus-themed emails, letters and social media messages that are used to obtain personal information.

“Social security number, date of birth, address, all those pieces of information can be used for financial reasons,” Wingerd said.

They’re also seeing sales of fake COVID-related products.

“‘Hey, there’s an at-home COVID-19 test kit or there’s cures or it could be vaccines or pills.’ None of this exists so that’s likely going to be a scam,” Wingerd said.

She said that these scams are happening all over and they’re often targeting the elderly population.

“The IRS is not going to email you, they’re not going to text you and they’re not going to call you and say ‘hey, give me your bank account information.’ That’s a scammer looking to steal your money,” Wingerd said.

She urges folks to be alert and vigilant.

If you think you may have come across a scam report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud and tips.tigta.gov.