Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today wrote to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) encouraging the IRS watchdog to engage in a public awareness and education campaign informing Americans of scams and frauds related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the federal government’s response, in particular the benefits and payments provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Grassley co-authored.
“Sadly, one of the unfortunate realities at times like these is that scam artists will employ whatever tactics they can to defraud unsuspecting and hardworking Americans,” Grassley wrote. “I am writing to ask that your office take every reasonable effort to educate Americans about the ways in which scammers and fraudsters might try to cheat them out of their money and their benefits during this time of unprecedented need.”
In his letter, Grassley also noted that, “scammers are already contacting innocent Americans by impersonating IRS or Treasury Department officials, offering so-called COVID-19-related assistance that requires the sharing of personal financial information. These scammers then use that information to steal from their unsuspecting victims.”
Grassley requested a briefing for Senate Finance Committee members regarding TIGTA’s work to prevent and detect COVID-19-related fraud.