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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


April 20, 2020
TIGTA-2020-4
Contact: David Barnes
David.Barnes@tigta.treas.gov

TIGTA Reminds U.S. Taxpayers To Be On The Lookout For Fraudulent Activity Concerning The CARES Act Economic Impact Payments

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) today urged eligible Economic Impact Payment recipients, financial institutions, and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement partners to report suspected fraud relating to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act has authorized Economic Impact Payments to approximately 160 million taxpayers, which will be delivered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through direct deposit or via U.S. Treasury check delivered by the U.S. Mail.

TIGTA’s Office of Investigations anticipates criminals will engage in various scams and schemes in attempts to intercept Economic Impact Payments, and/or steal sensitive taxpayer information during these challenging times.

TIGTA is responsible for conducting statutory oversight of issues relating to Federal tax administration and, as such, regularly investigates fraudulent activity related to the financial distributions of funds, such as the Economic Impact Payments, which are issued by the IRS. Based on historical trends in illicit activity, TIGTA reminds all taxpayers of the following to help avoid being victimized:

After your Economic Impact Payment has been sent, the IRS will send you a letter confirming your payment. If you receive this letter, but you have not received your Economic Impact Payment, please report the missing payment to TIGTA through our website at tips.TIGTA.gov. You will also need to report the missing payment separately to the IRS.

Scammers may also try to convince victims to deposit fraudulent or stolen U.S. Treasury checks into a victim’s bank account. After the victim makes the deposit, the scammers request that the victim send funds from that deposit to another account, or use those funds to purchase prepaid cards. Report this type of activity to TIGTA immediately at tips.TIGTA.gov.

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