SALT LAKE CITY — There have been a lot of programs and lots of stimulus money aimed at helping people get back on their feet post-pandemic.
This week, the federal government will begin another program aimed at aiding Americans with children.
It has all left a lot of folks confused — and that confusion is playing into the hands of scammers.
A new text message has been making the rounds. It refers to the Employment Development Department. It refers to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. It refers to the stimulus payments, and it wants you to click a link to claim your benefit.
It is, of course, a scam.
People who click the link may download malware, or be duped into giving away their personal information to an ID thief.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has been warning about stimulus-related scams for more than a year.
"The U.S. government continues to encounter instances of criminals using stimulus-themed emails and text messages to trick individuals into providing personally identifiable information and bank account details," an IRS spokesman said. "The IRS will not call, text, email, or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information — even related to the economic impact payments."
Specifically, the IRS warned consumers to be suspicious of attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.
To report a CARES Act fraud or other financial crime, the IRS said you should contact your local Secret Service field office.