CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The IRS is alerting consumers about scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic as stimulus payments arrive.

For months now, the IRS says scams are being seen that exploit these stimulus payments. It’s important to note that you’ll never be asked for your bank information via text message.

If you receive a letter or email using keywords like “COVID-19” or “stimulus,” it’s a scam because IRS doesn’t send unsolicited texts or emails.

The IRS also won’t call you demanding tax payments in the form of gift cards. One Chicopee woman told 22News it’s upsetting this is happening during an already tough time for so many.

“I don’t think disappointment is a strong enough word,” Chris Woodman expressed. “There’s so many scams out there now trying to take advantage of the vaccine, unemployment, and the people that are targeted are the ones who are more vulnerable.”

For more information on how to avoid scams related to stimulus payments and COVID-19, click here.