Tax payers, tax preparers newest target in latest scam

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(WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Treasury is warning taxpayers and tax preparers about a new scamming threat targeting federal stimulus checks.

With federal stimulus checks being directly deposited into taxpayer accounts, scammers are taking phishing and phone scams to the next level.

"They're going to try and play tricks and use different tactics on taxpayers and tax preparers to try and change direct deposit information so they can intercept that stimulus check,” said Michigan Department of Treasury Spokesperson, Ron Leix.

The treasury's office notice cyber criminals are using a common targeting scheme.

"When somebody gets correspondence through email and they notice that the person's name doesn't exactly line up with the email address, that's a red flag for phishing,” explained Leix.

Other phishing red flags include grammar errors and typos, being asked about direct deposit information independently and aggressive phone calls.

"If you get a call, or you get an email, delete it, hang up do whatever you need to do, and go to the primary source. Go to the IRS' website and call,” urged Leix.

The Marquette City Police say this problem isn't affecting our area yet; but, they anticipate it will soon and urge people to be careful.

"If somebody gets a message asking for your personal via texting, email or someone on the phone, be protective of what you give out and make sure that whoever is soliciting you is legitimate,” said Marquette City Police Detective Sergeant, Mike Archocosky.

If people have questions about their stimulus checks, the treasury's office advises people to direct their concerns to the IRS.