The massive 900 billion dollar Coronavirus relief and government spending bill was finally signed into law after much furor. The new law provides for payments of $600 to eligible people. In a future Scam of the day, I will go into the details of how the amount sent to families will be determined, however families should be aware that there are payments for each member of a married couple and their children under the age of 16 who qualify for the child tax credit. Any child who can be claimed as a dependent by their parents even if their parents do not claim them as a dependent on their income tax return will not be receiving a payment and college students who are 23 years of age or younger at the end of 2020 who don’t pay at least half of their own expenses also do not qualify for a payment. I will be writing in particular in the future about stimulus payment scams regarding college students who are frequently targeted by scammers.
Congress set a deadline of January 15, 2021 for the IRS to send out the second stimulus payments. As with the first stimulus payments, the payments will come either by a direct deposit into the bank account you used on your federal income tax form or by a debit card or by a paper check. Again, I will provide more details on these payments in future Scams of the day. If you don’t receive a payment by one of these three methods soon after January 15th you will be able to claim the amount of your stimulus payment as a “recovery rebate” on your 2020 federal income tax return.
Scammers were quite active in using the initial CARES Act stimulus payments as a basis for many scams and they will be rushing in the days and weeks ahead to scam you in regard to the second round of stimulus payments. Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Whenever you are contacted on the phone, by email or text message, you cannot be sure who is really contacting you. Even if your Caller ID indicates the call is from a legitimate federal agency such as the Treasury Department or the IRS, it is easy for a scammer to “spoof” that number and make it appear on your Caller ID as if the call is legitimate when it is not. Neither the IRS, the Treasury Department or any other federal agency will be contacting you by phone, email or text message about the stimulus checks. Anyone contacting you by phone, email or text message indicating that he or she is a federal employee is a scammer. For information about the stimulus check payments you can trust, you can go to the IRS’ website page dealing with these payments which is regularly updated with new information. Here is a link to that website .https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments
As these new scams take shape, I will regularly report to you about them.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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