coronavirus pandemic

New Stimulus Check, Coronavirus Scam Warning

As the deadline to file your taxes approaches, NBC 7 Responds explains how you can avoid falling for some common scams

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The IRS is warning people to look out for scams. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a resurgence in a lot of old scams, but some are new and revolve around the stimulus checks sent out by the IRS.

"They're just using COVID and the IRS as more of their ruse, or lure, to get people to fall prey," said IRS Spokesperson Raphael Tulino. "Under no circumstances are (the phone calls and emails) from the IRS. Delete them, ignore them."

One of the newer scams tries to get people to send in the money they received as a stimulus check.

"It's a random email or phone call saying you have to reapply for this payment, or you didn't qualify to begin with," Tulino said. "(They usually say) send us the money, we'll send it to you again."

Other types of scams are not new, but are preying on the fear people may have over their financial security or physical health.

"Like investing in some vaccine or some company that's going to make one," Tulino said. "Or selling a test kit or another medical supply thing."

The IRS says you should always double-check that anyone asking for your money is legitimate. If they say they are from a company or a charity, go online to see if it is real or give their office a call.

"If you're looking to give money to any charity, whether its this time through COVID-19, check it out," Tulino said. "Making sure its legitimate before sending your money there is always a good practice.

Tulino says scams come and go, so it's difficult to warn of a specific type of scam, but we should expect to see tax-related scams popping up as the filing deadline approaches. If you have not yet filed your taxes, the deadline to do so is July 15th.

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