Preparedness Tip: Stimulus Check Fraud
The IRS sent out 4 million checks last week in the latest round of stimulus checks. If you received a stimulus check, you may become a target for scammers. Here's what to look out for:
Suspicious Calls: A scammer might call you pretending to be from the government (usually the IRS) and will ask you for personal and financial information. Remember that the government already has all your necessary information on file, and never give out personal information over the phone.
Fishy Emails and Texts: Again, a scammer might pose as a government employee and send you an email, text, or even social media message with links asking you to verify your information. Do not click on any links you are sent; this is a phishing scam that gives scammers access to your passwords and other personal information.
Fake Websites: Avoid entering your information into non-government websites. Always double-check that you are on an official website before entering anything. Also avoid clicking on suspicious links that lead you to fake websites; these fake websites will often download malware onto your computer.
Phony Checks: Some scammers will mail you paper checks that look like official stimulus checks. They will then call you posing as a government official, claim that they sent too much money, and will ask you to send some money back. Do not send any money, and tell your bank immediately.
Report any scams to local law enforcement or the FTC.