The economic stimulus, extended unemployment benefits, and the pandemic have created the perfect storm for scammers to take advantage of the unprepared.  That's why we want to share with you a few scams to look out for this tax season.

Stimulus Payments Scam

Probably the most popular scam this season is all about your missing stimulus check.  If you are still owed one or more checks from the government, you are a prime target for scammers.

The scam is pretty simple, someone will pose as an employee for the IRS and contact you via phone, text, email, or even social media to ask you for information to help process your check.  Do not give out your personal information via text, email, or social media, because the IRS will not contact those ways.

Fake Charities

During any crisis or natural disaster, scammers turn to fake charities to steal money and personal information from generous people.  Always be wary of a charity that goes out of its way to contact you, because most charities will never do this unless you have donated to them in the past.  Additionally, you should never give out sensitive personal information to charities like your Social Security Number or any bank account information.

Unemployment Benefits

Throughout the pandemic, the federal government along with state governments offered extended and increased unemployment benefits.  And due to the incredibly large amount of people who took advantage of those unemployment benefits, it has been very hard for the government to verify everyone's identity.  Because of that, there is a chance that someone may have filed for unemployment using your name.  That means that you might be getting a bill from the IRS to pay taxes on unemployment you never actually received.

If you believe that you've been scammed through unemployment or through your stimulus checks, you can call the IRS to verify it at 800-829-1040 or report tax fraud at IRS.gov.

You can read more about these scams via Time.com and The Patriot Ledger.

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