Identity theft is a damaging issue for people. It has taken on a more troubling tone as scams targeting thousands of people are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic including Americans in Denver, Colorado.
Identity Theft is Serious and Damaging for the American Public
There is a warning of a wave of identity theft. It is being issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Justice COVID Fraud Taskforce.
Angie Straub, a medical coder, said she was shocked when her employer told her that her identity had been stolen.
She had an unemployment benefits card she didn’t even apply for, Straub said. Following a request to file taxes on the money.
On the 1099-G, I received a tax document, that I would have to file for this year’s taxes but like I said, I did not file for unemployment, said Straub.
The Rise with COVID-19
The agency is seeing rising rates of identity theft during the Corona Virus pandemic, said Amanda Prestegard, Assistant Special Agent of IRS Criminal Investigations.
Scams are designing to trick targeted individuals into providing personal financial information.
However, many of these deals sound or “too good to be true.
“We can help you get your payment faster or get more payment that is if somebody is reaching out to get more payment or say “you can invest in our company that is going to develop and work on the vaccines, then it is too good to be true, Prestegard said.
Victims are many times targeting with text messages or phone emails.
Therefore, there is only one way to contact you which is formally on the phone with verification through written correspondence.
Moreover, people who sign up to receive unemployment benefits should be aware of how future payments will be received.
When the first payment came earlier or last year in 2020, the second payment will come through the same way, Prestegard said.
The agency never contacts residents via social media or text message, according to the IRS.
Monitor your tax return on the IRS website to protect against fraud. Any suspicious activity should be given to the IRS.