Protecting Yourself from Fraud
The American Bankers Association and the IRS have highlighted the top five most common scams to watch out for in relation to stimulus payments:
Offer early access to payment
- Anyone who promises early or fast payment in exchange for personal information is most likely a scammer.
Send “phishy” emails or texts
- Scammers may reference your check amount and urge you to pay a fake "debt" with your check. For those who receive an actual check, they may ask you to endorse it and forward to them for "payment of past debts." They will sound convincing and threatening when you question them.
Make bogus phone calls and texts asking for personal information
- Government agencies will never correspond through email or text message. If you receive a message with a link asking you to register online in order to receive your economic impact payment, you are most likely being scammed. Do not click on the link.
Mail a phony check
- Consumers do not need to take any action to receive their economic impact payment. If you receive a phone call or text from someone claiming to be from your bank or a government agency asking to verify your personal information, hang up immediately and call your bank or report it to the IRS.
- Some scammers will send out fake checks—with either the correct or incorrect economic impact payment amount—and require the recipient to verify personal information in order to cash it. The only mail correspondence you should receive will come from the IRS in the form of a letter with information on how the economic impact payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.