The IRS has released its annual rundown on tax scams to look out for, and this year’s “Dirty Dozen” list includes schemes related to the massive government effort to provide Americans with financial relief amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We continue to see scam artists use the pandemic to steal money and information from honest taxpayers in a time of crisis,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We provide this list to alert taxpayers about common scams that fraudsters use against their victims.”
Intended to help taxpayers, tax professionals and financial institutions avoid falling prey to scammers, this year’s list is broken down into four categories:
* Scams related to pandemic aid, such as the theft of Covid relief checks;
* Stealing personal information through phishing, ransomware and phone "vishing” (voice-driven phishing);
* Cons focusing on unsuspecting victims, including seniors and immigrants, sometimes using fake charities;
* Schemes to get taxpayers to make payments they think will settle tax debts.
In addition to the theft of Covid relief checks, the IRS called out efforts by scammers to steal personal identities for the purpose of filing fraudulent unemployment claims aimed at claiming some of the enhanced jobless benefits provided by Congress. Taxpayers would not see those payments but might receive tax documents related to them. “The IRS reminds taxpayers to be on the lookout for receiving a Form 1099-G reporting unemployment compensation that they didn't receive,” the IRS says.