If you haven’t fallen for the $5,000 COVID-19 vaccine, $400 COVID-19 self-testing test kit or the $150 bottle of Lysol scams, then congratulations, you’ve stood your ground. But now is not the time to let your guard down – new tricks are coming to defraud you.
On March 27, the president signed a bill to provide a two-trillion-dollar economic stimulus relief package to be split among businesses and the American people. Included in the package deal is a stimulus check that will be sent to every qualifying person or household. There’s no doubt that cybercriminals are privy to the bill and are ready to help you spend it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind and to help you keep that money in your bank account and out of the hands of cybercriminals:
- The check will only be delivered via your mailing address or the bank account listed on your 2018-2019 tax return
- The government does not need your social security number (SSN), date of birth (DOB), driver’s license (DL) number, home address, credit card or bank account information to send you the check
- This payment is yours in full. There is no processing fee. Anyone who is asking for pre-payment in order to process the check is a fraudster
- There is no expedited payment option. Some fraudsters, and even disgruntled businesses, may contact you with an offer for expedited payment. That is nothing but an advanced loan, just like the one you can get from the IRS if you owe them money on your tax return. Don’t fall for it. You will get your money on time.
- The IRS will not contact you about this payment (phone, email or text)
- Remember, your SSN, DOB, DL, and address are probably on the dark web already. Fraudsters can be very persuasive and authentic-seeming with that information in their hands. Be sure to double-check all links and email addresses before clicking on anything.
I will keep you updated on any new developments, but this is a big one and there’s no room for slip-ups. There’s a lot at stake for cybercriminals and you will more than likely be a target, so stay cautious and safe.
Always remember, think before you click.