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News | April 27, 2020

Stimulus checks cause rise in phishing, scamming attempts

By Elizabeth Szoke DCMA Public Affairs

Security officials are encouraging Defense Contract Management Agency personnel to be even more vigilant when receiving communication from unknown sources, especially when encountering links within emails, social media, text messages and other digital-messaging platforms.

“These forms of messaging can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft,” said Michael Coleman, the agency’s cybersecurity lead. “Pay extra attention to unsolicited emails that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, also known as EFTPS.”

The IRS Criminal Investigation Division have seen a wave of new and evolving schemes against taxpayers over the last month.

"We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn't going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don't open them or click on attachments or links. Go to for the most up-to-date information."

The IRS says they are depositing the stimulus checks into direct deposit accounts that taxpayers provided on previous tax returns in most cases.

“We encourage everyone to avoid engaging with potential scammers online or on the phone,” said Coleman. “If anyone wants to check the status of their payments, they can visit the IRS direct website.

The cybersecurity division urges DCMA personnel to report all potential phishing attempts by emailing their tip line.