Scams related to the Coronavirus stimulus package are quickly being deployed by fraudsters. It is critical that you remain vigilant in order to protect your information. Here are some useful tips in light of recent scams hitting the nation:
- No legitimate company or individual will reach out to you to obtain personal or account information via text, phone call or email.
- Government agencies do not communicate through social media outlets, such as Facebook.
- Never pay a fee for a government grant. A government agency will never request an advanced processing fee for you to receive a grant.
- Beware of fake government agencies promoted by fraudsters. The only official list of all U.S. federal grant-making agencies can be found at www.grants.gov.
- Most stimulus checks will be coming via direct deposit. This is likely to occur the third week of April.
Tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
For more information about protecting your money and your identity visit our Fraud Protection Center.