ST. LOUIS – As Missourians begin to file their 2020 tax returns, criminals are exploiting the filing season to scam people out of their money and personal information. The best way to avoid falling victim to a scam is knowing how the Internal Revenue Service communicates with taxpayers.

The IRS isn’t going to call asking you to provide or verify your financial information so you can get an Economic Impact Payment or your refund faster. The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails. The IRS does not call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, nor does it demand tax payments on gift cards. Taxpayers should look out for calls and email phishing attempts about the coronavirus or COVID-19, such as the sale of fake at-home COVID-19 test kits, fake donations and bogus opportunities to invest in companies developing COVID-19 vaccines.

“While criminals are constantly changing their tactics, taxpayers can help protect themselves by acting as the…

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