Government agencies are warning Americans to be vigilant as scammers try to take advantage of them during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Scams are largely related to the economic impact payments the Treasury Department is sending to millions of people in the form of a direct deposit or a paper check. Click here to learn from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website if you are eligible and how any potential payment will be disbursed to you. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
Americans should be wary of phone calls, emails, text messages, websites and social media messages about stimulus payments that request money or personal information, according to the IRS.
Scam artists may use this information to commit tax fraud, identity theft or steal money from financial accounts. They may also try to entice unsuspecting victims to click on malicious hyperlinks, which can be used to remotely install malware to potentially harvest credentials, install key-loggers or lock down the system with ransomware.
Social Security officials also warn beneficiaries against providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency or by mailing cash to maintain Social Security benefits or receive the Treasury’s payments.
Scammers are also trying to trick jobless Americans into forking over some of their unemployment benefits. They pose as a state unemployment official and ask for unemployment insurance overpayments to be paid back by credit card or gift card.
Scammers are also using illegal robocalls to pitch things like fraudulent coronavirus treatments, vaccinations, home test kits and work-at-home schemes. Click here to report a scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). www.ftc.gov/complaint