Possibly the only thing as pervasive as the novel coronavirus is the unending stream of scams targeting us when we’re at our most vulnerable. Don’t give the scammers any victories as they prey on the fallout of a pandemic.
Here’s what to look out for—and what you can do about it.
IRS stimulus check scams
People are receiving their stimulus money, but scammers have been trying to swipe your funds since the bill was approved by the White House. Don’t respond to any of the following in regard to your stimulus payment.
The bottom line is that the IRS will not contact you for any information related to your stimulus payment. Don’t give anyone your social security number, full name, birthdate, or precious time.
“Economic impact funds” will be automatically deposited into bank accounts for eligible tax filers who already filed taxes this year. If you didn’t get your refund via direct deposit, you’ll be issued a check in the mail.
If you didn’t file your taxes, or aren’t usually required to file, you can fill out an online IRS form to get your payment.
There has been a spike in emails, texts, and phone calls soliciting donations for phony charity organizations and others claiming to represent the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Don’t respond to these messages.
- Don’t click on any links.
- Don’t provide any personal information.
Where to report scams
If you come across a scam, help put these bad actors out of business by reporting it.