Contractors State License Board Cautions Licensees to Watch for Online Scams Related to Economic Impact Payments
SACRAMENTO - Contractors State License Board (CSLB) wants to make sure licensees are aware of an increase in online scams related to federal Economic Impact Payments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the nation's tax industry continue to see a spike in cases of data theft and phishing scams related to COVID-19 and federal stimulus payments.
The scams look to take advantage of vulnerable licensed contractors and other taxpayers who may be unaware of how Economic Impact Payments will reach them. The IRS offered suggestions to combat cybercriminals:
Use Multi-Factor Authentication to protect data. If your tax software provides multi-factor authentication the IRS suggests licensees enable this security feature. It typically only requires a cellphone.
Avoid Phishing Scams. Identity thieves have increased the number of phishing emails sent to taxpayers. Never click on suspicious links in emails from unfamiliar people or organizations. Taxpayers can forward suspicious emails to the IRS by sending them to email@example.com.
Watch out for IRS impersonation scams. The IRS will never call, email or text anyone about Economic Impact Payments.
Use security software. Everyone should use security software on their computers and mobile phones that prevent potentially dangerous malware from infecting digital networks.
For more information on protecting yourself, read this publication from the IRS.
For an updated list of CSLB services available during COVID-19 health emergency, including all CSLB online services and frequently asked questions, please visit https://cslb.ca.gov/About_us/COVID-19.aspx.
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