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Scam texts hit Utah as confusion persists over stimulus payments

With the many stimulus programs aimed at helping people get back on their feet after the pandemic, scammers have turned to texting to rip you off. (Matt Gephart, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY – There have been a lot of programs and a lot of stimulus money aimed at helping people get back on their feet after the pandemic.

This week, the federal government will launch another program to help Americans with children.

All of this has left a lot of people confused – and this confusion is playing into the hands of the crooks.

A new text message did the trick. It refers to the Directorate of Employment Development. It refers to the unemployment pandemic assistance program. It refers to stimulus payments and wants you to click on a link to claim your benefit.

This is of course a scam.

People who click on the link may download malware or be tricked into giving their personal information to an identity thief.

The US Department of the Treasury was warning about stimuli-related scams for more than a year.

“The US government continues to encounter cases of criminals using stimulus-themed emails and texts to trick individuals into providing personally identifiable information and bank details,” an IRS spokesperson said. . “The IRS will not call you, text you, contact you by email, or contact you on social media to ask for personal or banking information, even in connection with payments. economic impact.”

Specifically, the IRS has warned consumers to be wary of attachments or links claiming to have special information about economically impacting payments or refunds.

To report a CARES Act fraud or other financial crime, the IRS has asked you to contact your local secret service office.

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