Be Alert for Stimulus Check Scams
With the recent news that the U.S. government will begin sending another round of Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) to help Americans as the result of coronavirus pandemic, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Treasury Department are warning people to watch out for scams.
Keep in mind, the IRS won’t call, email or text you asking for personal financial information like Social Security numbers, bank account details or money.
Check scams, processing fees
According to the BBB, watch for fake economic impact checks, or people asking you to pay fees to get your money earlier.
For most of us, the stimulus payment will automatically be deposited by the IRS using the direct deposit information it already has on file (e.g., from previous stimulus payment or recent tax return) starting January 4, 2021, and continuing over the next several weeks. Checks and prepaid debit cards will also be mailed in January.
Social media messages
The BBB also warns about a variety of social media scams regarding the stimulus checks with posts that indicate you need to verify your information – that link to official looking websites, or may even appear to come from one of your friends.
Remember, government agencies won’t use social media to communicate. Do not click on links in these types of posts – clicking on them may download malware to your device that cybercriminals could use for identity theft.
For more information about the economic impact payments, visit the IRS website.
To learn about other scams related to the coronavirus, check out this other blog post.
Your Turn: Have you been targeted by a coronavirus scam? Tell us about it in the comments.