WHEELING, WV (WTRF) — Fraud is at its highest with alleged scammers using COVID-19 stimulus payments as a cover to steal personal information and money, according to a special agent stationed in Washington DC.
In many of the scams, alleged fake companies claim to have a cure for the virus and others asking for investments to create a vaccine. The IRS Criminal Investigator says some scammers are also setting up fake charities.
Kelly Jackson, a special agent for Washington DC field officer of IRS Criminal Investigation, says these crime rates are similar to what has been seen following previous national crises.
The scams run the gamut right now. It reminds me of also like 9/11. There were lots of scams that came as a result. There’s a lot of money out there. There’s a lot of programs that are set up to help those that are truly in need of financial help, you’re going to see fraud.Kelly Jackson, Special Agent for Washington D.C. field officer of IRS Criminal Investigation
The IRS does not send emails, texts, or calls in regard to payments. Jackson says if a company sounds fraudulent, consumers should look the company up or report fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.
If you suspect EIP fraud, report it on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration website, or if you suspect IRS fraud, report it on the IRS website.