U.S. authorities have detected a wide range of EIP-related fraud and theft. The following are examples of such activity:
• Fraudulent checks. Fraudsters send potential victims fraudulent checks, instructing the recipients to call a number or verify information online in order to cash the fraudulent EIP checks. Victims are asked for personal or banking information under the guise that the information is needed to receive or speed up their EIP. Fraudsters then use the information obtained to commit various crimes, such as identity theft and the unauthorized access of bank accounts.
• Theft of EIP. Such thefts can include individuals stealing an EIP from the U.S. mail; requesting an EIP disbursal for an ineligible person; seeking another person’s EIP without the payee’s knowledge and/or approval, or through coercive means; or using stolen Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including providing false bank account information to the IRS to claim an EIP.
• Phishing schemes using EIP as a lure. Fraudsters perpetrate phishing schemes using emails, letters, phone calls, and text messages containing keywords such as “Corona Virus,” “COVID-19,” and “Stimulus,” with the purpose of obtaining PII and financial account information, such as account numbers and passwords.
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𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐬 𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥, 𝐏.𝐂. 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐥𝐚𝐰 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐦 𝐟𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐞𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐱𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐚𝐱 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐰.
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