- Days left
The economy isn't the only thing getting a (alleged) boost from the government's economic stimulus checks, being sent out to taxpayers beginning this past week. The political windfall is also stimulating a lot of creative fraud as well.

According to story on MarketWatch, scammers are calling and emailing consumers posing as the IRS or the Social Security Administration. The callers tell consumers they need detailed bank account information or Social Security numbers in order to process their economic stimulus checks. Those consumers who fall for the scam and reveal this information are then subject to identity theft.

The story recommends some steps consumers can take to prevent getting so scammed.
  • Don't ever give out personal information such as bank account numbers, Social Security number or Mother's Maiden name to unsolicited callers.
  • Keep in mind that the IRS will NEVER call you in regards to the stimulus package. The Social Security Administration is unlikely to call you out of the blue, either. Also, remember that you'll only get a check if you filed a tax return this year.
  • Don't click on any links in unsolicited emails -- they may take you to a fraudulent site. Fraudsters these days can create very sophisticated websites that look almost like the real thing. Once there, they will prompt you for information. Don't give it out. If you want to go to the actual IRS site, go to www.irs.gov.
  • If someone calls you and says they're from a government agency, hang up, and call the agency yourself. The FTC keeps a list of government agencies and contact numbers here.
If you filed a tax return this year, be patient -- the check is in the mail, as they say. Wondering when you'll get yours? Check here to find out.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Intro to different retirement accounts

What does it mean to have a 401(k)? IRA?

View Course »

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Guide to Unemployment and Taxes

The IRS considers unemployment compensation to be taxable income?which you must report on your federal tax return. State unemployment divisions issue an IRS Form 1099-G to each individual who receives unemployment benefits during the year.

Guide to Taxes on Dividends

If you received dividends from any of your investments this year, you may have to pay income tax on these payments. The Internal Revenue Service considers dividends to be taxable income. So regardless of the amount of your dividend payments, you should report them on your tax return.

When the IRS Classifies Your Business as a Hobby

If your business claims a net loss for too many years, or fails to meet other requirements, the IRS may classify it as a hobby, which would prevent you from claiming a loss related to the business. If the IRS classifies your business as a hobby, you'll have to prove that you had a valid profit motive if you want to claim those deductions.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum