IRS warns of new text messaging and email scams with stimulus payments, taxes

IRS investigators identified $2.3 billion in tax fraud schemes in 2020 and they're warning of more scams - related to the pandemic. 

The IRS says they won't call, email or text you - it's important to know that they won't - because the scammers will.

"If you see there's an email from the IRS - just delete it - don't even open it," said Sarah Kull.

Kull is the special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigations in Detroit. She says they are all scams to gain access to your bank account or Social Security Number. They can be used to steal your identity, your refund check or your stimulus check - also called an economic impact payment. 

"The fraudsters are out there in full force trying to take advantage of people who are down on their luck," Kull said, adding that many people might feel if they give information over, it will mean getting their money faster.

"That won't happen - they're going to end up losing their money that way," she added.

Kull says scammers are using the pandemic to threaten and take advantage of people who are vulnerable and desperate for money in these tough economic times.

She said there is no reason the IRS would need to "verify your bank account information."

Kull added that fraudulent tax preparers are also out there - make sure they are reputable and available year-round. You should also compare their Preparer Tax Information Number. And steer clear of imposters.