Watch Out! – Third Round of Economic Impact Payments Status Available Scams

Have you recently been sent an email saying you’re now eligible for the third round of Economic Impact Payments? If so, watch out! Although the message looks like it came directly from the IRS, it’s a scam! Read on to learn more!

Scammers have been sending out tons of these fake IRS emails lately, and they all say roughly the same thing – something about your COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment is now available. Your email almost certainly looks something like this, right?

Fake third round of economic impact payments
Source: Reddit

The scammers’ goal here is to get you to click on the button embedded in the email (the “Claim my payment” button in the above example). Once you’ve clicked on the button, you’ll be taken to a phishing website. It’ll most likely look just like the real IRS website. There, you’ll be asked to enter all kinds of personal information. And it’s your personal information that the scammers want!
The scammers can record everything you enter on the phishing site and they can use it to commit further cybercrimes. They could even use it to steal your identity! The fake website is almost certainly riddled with malware, too.

Here’s the full content of one of the scam emails:

Case-Customer#628.docx DOCX-456 B S IRS
Third Round of Economic Impact Payments Status Available
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a payment of S815.05.
Each week we’re sending the third payments to eligible individuals as we continue to process tax returns Payments are sent by direct deposit or mail as a check or debit card.
Claim my payment
Note : For securin’ reasons, we will record your ip-address: the date and time Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued and indicated.
Sincerely, Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS is working with federal agencies to get updated information for recipients to ensure we are sending automatic payments to as many people as possible. More information about when these payments will be made is provided in the news release issued on March 30, 2021.

Think you’ve come across a scam? Here’s what you can do

If you’ve been sent a suspicious message or you’ve come across a dubious website, there are a couple of great tools you can use to know for sure whether it’s a scam or not.

#1 – Trend Micro Check

Trend Micro Check is a completely free browser extension available for Chrome, Safari, and Edge. Once you’ve got it pinned in your web browser, it’ll automatically detect and block dangerous websites for you. 

It’s also available for WhatsApp and Messenger (for free again!). If you’ve got the app, you can send it links and screenshots of suspicious messages and it’ll instantly tell you whether they’re scams or not. It’s genius!

#2 – Scamadviser

Scamadviser is a great website you can use to verify the legitimacy of websites and learn all about how various scams work and how to avoid them. The site’s got a ton of awesome resources. We really can’t recommend it enough!

Trust, by verify

Nobody wants to live their life never trusting anything they come across, but there are so many scams out there that we need to exercise a certain amount of caution. If you’ve been sent an email similar in content to the one mentioned in this article, please ignore it. For anything to do with your Economic Impact Payments, please use the IRS’s official website. For everything else, use one of the tools mentioned above!