How to prevent stimulus check scams a Totesnewsworthy Exclusive
Stimulus checks from the government to help give those in need a helping hand, and to keep the economy turning over are critical safety nets. A few hundred dollars here and there could be the difference between some Americans being able to make rent or their mortgage payments. Unfortunately, some less than moral scum bags are using this as an opportunity to scam hard-working Americans out of their hard-earned money by offering fake stimulus checks. These could be done via phishing emails or other, more complicated techniques. This article will help you avoid such scams and keep you and your assets safe.
Fake Checks- Stimulus Check Scams:
The first scam you should be aware of is the fake check scam. How that works is you are sent a phony check in the mail. The check is for a sum often far larger than your stimulus should be. You may get a check for $2000. You cash the check, the scammer then sends you a letter saying that you were overpaid, and you need to return the excess. Often in the form of crypto of gift cards. The idea is that you will have paid them back with untraceable currency before your bank informs you the check has bounced. This is one of the most common types of scams going, not even just for stimulus checks. The reason being that it’s more or less impossible to trace and very easy to produce. My suggestion would be not to cash any checks you aren’t 100% convinced by. If you are still unsure, call the IRS.
No official government entity will request gift cards from you. That should be your biggest red flag.
Phone Scammers: The worst Kind of Scum
Phone scammers don’t aim to have you pay them off in gift cards or cash the same way that fake check scammers do. What they try to achieve is to gather as much information from you as possible. Don’t get me wrong; they will still try and get cash, crypto, or gift cards if possible. But they will start by trying to gather your details. For example, your date of birth or social security number. All information you could potentially expect to need to give the IRS or your bank should be provided with skepticism. I would encourage you not to provide any such information unless YOU call THEM first.
Phone scammers are easy to deal with. Hang up. Always. And then call whoever it is that rang you back by first googling the correct contact number. If the numbers match, you can proceed. If not, well, that was an obvious scam. Phone scammers will try to gain access to your account details to steal your stimulus money once it has been deposited.