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New pandemic-related phishing scam targeting people via text message

If you receive a text message that appears to be the IRS asking you to click on what may appear to be a valid link to receive a $1,200 stimulus check, don't click.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Revenue is warning Hoosiers about a new scam related to the pandemic.  

Scams like these have been on the rise, and a new one might reach you via text message. 

If you receive a text message that appears to be the IRS asking you to click on what may appear to be a valid link to receive a $1,200 stimulus check, the Department of Revenue said do not click on the link. 

“It is absolutely a scam,” said Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Revenue Bob Grennes.  

It’s the latest phishing scam targeting people’s personal information. 

“They try to get you to click on a link that looks like it’s a valid link and it’s going to a completely inappropriate website and they’re going to ask you to enter personal information, social security or banking information and that’s when the bad things start to happen,” said Grennes. “Never enter your personal information."

In most cases, these criminals are trying to steal your identity, said Grennes.  

The criminals will “maybe try to open credit under your name, act like you, but they’re not you but they can’t do that unless they have your personal information so you need to make sure you’re not providing that to people you don’t know,” said Grennes.   

Grennes said that are no federal stimulus checks going out at this time, just standard activity related to tax refunds, etc. which one should expect or know is coming.  

The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails and it does not threaten people with jail or lawsuits or demand tax payments on gift cards.  

The Department of Revenue said the IRS or any state revenue agency primarily works through “US postal mail.” 

Grennes said the Department of Revenue has “all of their phone numbers and contact information listed on our website and you can always contact us and ask us about anything you might be receiving, and we will let you know whether or not it’s valid.”  

If you do receive one of these scams, take a screenshot of the text message and email it to phishing@irs.gov with the date and time it was received. Don’t forget the time zone, the number where the message came from and the number where you received the message.