The world is facing a new scam boom during the COVID outbreak. Congress still hasn’t approved another economical relief plan; therefore, new stimulus checks are not the case yet. All the messages regarding a direct deposit of the next stimulus check are fake, but this is not the only technique scammer implement to trick you into sharing your personal details or force you into an upfront payment.
Here are the most common stimulus check scams to stay away from:
- You receive a message or email regarding the second check – a typical case of imposter scam, fraudsters are posing as the IRS sending you a message trying to encourage you into clicking the link. The message usually says that you need to click on a link to accept stimulus payment.
- You are asked to verify some sensitive information online or over the phone to speed up the payment – scammers are always keen on stealing your sensitive data, including your bank details, ID number, etc. Please note that the IRS will never use anything, but the official website to verify your information.
- Bogus terminology – the only term to be officially used is “economic impact payment”, scammers more likely will use “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment”
- You received a fake check via mail – If the stimulus check you received is for an odd amount, especially including cents, or there a note that some info is needed to be verified in order to cash it, it’s definitely a scam.
- If someone is claiming that can help to push your payments through – it’s definitely a scam.
- Any links or attachments with some additional info about your stimulus payment – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) never contacts US citizens by messages or email, so all the links you may receive are fraudulent and can potentially be a part of a phishing or malware scam.
- There are fees involved – the IRS will never ask you for any release fee or tax to be paid to get your economic impact payment.
What to do if you have been scammed?
Report an economic impact payment scam on IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft to the IRS and FTC and get a recovery plan.