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Categorized | Tax Time

Be ready for stimulus scams

Scammers trying to obtain banking info to intercept federal checks  

LANSING—Michigan taxpayers and tax preparers should be extra vigilant for federal stimulus scams, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

With many taxpayers receiving federal stimulus checks directly deposited into their banking accounts, scammers are boosting their phishing attempts and phone scams to obtain personally identifiable information. In the latest round of reports, scammers are targeting taxpayers and tax preparers in an attempt to change direct deposit information so they can intercept federal checks.

“Taxpayers and tax preparers must be vigilant for direct deposit scams”, State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “It’s bad enough when a single taxpayer is targeted. When tax preparers are also targeted, the personal information of many individual taxpayers could be disclosed all at once. Please be extra vigilant for scams during this unprecedented time.”

In reported cases, scammers are asking taxpayers or tax preparers to verify banking information through a phone call or are asking individuals to click on a link that goes to a fake website, where an unsuspecting victim submits personally identifiable information to a criminal.

Taxpayers or tax preparers can report phishing attempts to the Internal Revenue Service at phishing@irs.gov.

As a part of the federal stimulus package, the federal government is directly depositing stimulus checks to many taxpayers based on 2018 and 2019 tax year information from the IRS.

The Michigan Department of Treasury does not administer the federal stimulus program or have information regarding federal stimulus checks. Questions about the federal stimulus program should be directed to the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

For more information about identify theft, go to www.michigan.gov/identitytheft

To learn more about Michigan’s tax system, follow the Michigan Department of Treasury on Twitter at @MITreasury.

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