Even in these uncertain times, scammers take advantage of unsuspecting victims
The spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a new group of scammers. These hackers are targeting those affected by the virus, including those awaiting stimulus checks, those trying to stay healthy, and many people who are working from home. Here are three simple tips to help avoid falling victim to these scams:
- Never accept calls, emails, or texts regarding receiving your relief check from the federal government. While the details are still coming together regarding dispersing these funds, here are some things to note:
- If you filed a 2018 or 2018 tax return, you wouldn’t need to do anything to receive your check. Find out if you’re eligible to receive a check here.
- Under no circumstances do you have to sign up to receive these funds if you are eligible. Sometimes, bad actors will call pretending to be from the government. Here are some information tips to avoid these types of “phishing” scams.
- NO ONE has early access to funds. Anyone who says they can access them early is likely a scammer.
- Never offer to verify your Social Security number or any other personal information to anyone over the phone or via email.
- Beware of emails claiming to be from government entities like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO.) The best source of information on the virus is available directly on these healthcare agencies’ websites. Never click on links from sources with which you aren’t familiar.
- Be careful with making donations. Scammers can take advantage of your generosity. Never donate cash, or by wiring money. When available, it is safest to write a check directly to a vetted nonprofit organization or to give through a secure website.
Remember, Traditions Bank is here to help. If you ever are concerned that you have been victim to a scam, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help work alongside you to make sure your funds and confidential information is kept safe. For details on Traditions Bank’s response to COVID-19, please visit our webpage on the subject. For a list of frequently asked questions, please click here.