While most of us like to celebrate the way people come together during times like these, there’s no denying that criminals take advantage of a crisis. COVID-19 is no different with a number of scams popping up around the country.
Being aware of these common scam tactics can help keep you, your information, and your money safe. Here are five things to watch out for:
Requests for personal information like your Social Security number, date of birth, or banking or credit card information.
In the words of IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, “The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster.” So don’t give out sensitive information over the phone, email, text, or social media.
Claims to help you get your refund or stimulus payment faster.
The IRS will not do this.* If someone claims they can, they’re probably lying.
Email addresses you don’t recognize.
Double-check the sender on any email regarding the stimulus package, COVID-19 testing, or other messages related to the crisis. If it’s not from someone you know or a company you’ve done business with, don’t click on any links or reply to the email.
Emphasis on the words “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.”
The official name is “economic impact payment,” and that’s how the IRS will refer to it.*
You know those phone calls you get from a computer with prerecorded messages? Not only can they be annoying, they’re also a popular tool for scammers.
Think you’ve encountered a scam? Here’s how you can report it.
The information in this site, including any third-party content and opinions, is for educational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal, tax, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Oportun product or service to your unique circumstances. Contact your independent financial advisor for advice on your personal situation.