Earlier this year Congress passed the CARES Act which provided $1,200 payments to millions of Americans who suffered financially due to the Coronavirus pandemic, however as the pandemic drags on many people are still suffering financially and in need of further government assistance. Congress appears to be getting close to passing new legislation to provide for additional payments to Americans in need, however even before such legislation has been passed, scammers are taking advantage of peoples’ concern about a new stimulus program by sending text messages that read “You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS Fund.Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment.” The text message contains a link that sends you to what appears to be an IRS website, but it is totally bogus. On the website you are prompted to provide pesonal information purportedly to enable you to obtain your stimulus payment, however, if you provide that information such as your Social Security number or your bank account information, you will be providing the information to a scammer who will use it to make you a victim of identity theft.
Trust me, you can’t trust anyone. The IRS is not contacting you by text message or email about the stimulus payments provided for by a program that hasn’t even been passed by Congress yet and when such legislation is passed, the IRS will still not be contacting you by phone, email or text message to solicit you to provide personal information to get a payment. Even if your Caller ID indicates the call is from the IRS, it is a simple matter for scammers to “spoof” the number of the IRS and manipulate your Caller ID so that it appears as if the call is coming from the IRS when, in truth, it is not.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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