Stimulus check phone scams have skyrocketed over these last few months. Fraudsters are trying to steal your money or personal information by imitating legitimate financial aid programs. Here is what you need to know to avoid them.
Techradar reported that stimulus check phone scams have reached more than 1.1 million in June. The number is nearly doubled compared to scams in the year 2020. Fraudsters are taking advantage of the pandemic to spam calls and scam your money. Reports say that victims lose an average of $182 to $1,000 to these scams.
There are many different kinds of stimulus check phone scams to look out for. Be extra careful if you find yourself in these situations:
3. Stealing Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Scammers might suddenly call you, asking you to verify your identity so you could receive your stimulus check. They will ask for your full name, address, SSI, and other similar information. Scammers would often use the information to steal or impersonate your identity.
How to avoid this? Remember that the government only takes your information from your tax returns in the IRS database. Do not provide your personal information through suspicious phone calls. Instead, only use these safe and legal government websites to submit your:
2. Stealing Your Bank Account
Similar to the first scam, fake phone calls might request your bank information, so they could "directly deposit your funds." Sometimes, scammers might only ask for your name and account details. Other times, they would also request your PIN code.
How to avoid this? None of the financial aid programs will require you to provide your PIN code! As previously stated, the government would only use the information available on your Tax Returns of IRS Online Account. If you do not have a bank account, the government will automatically send your money by paper check to your provided address. Instead of responding to scam calls, safely check the delivery status of your stimulus check though:
Offering Fake Loan Forgiveness or Loan Advances
Loan Forgiveness and Loan Advance Programs are available and supported by the government. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of this by offering fake services. They will fool you using strategies like "your stimulus check is about to expire" or "your account will be deactivated if you no longer apply."
How to avoid this? Stick to the official channels provided by the government when applying for Loan Forgiveness or Loan Advances. Fortunately, you can do both online! The processing time might take a few days. However, these websites use encryptions and other security measures to keep your data safe.
- Stimulus Checks for Mortgage Payments
- US Rental Assistance Program
- Student Loan Repayment Calculator
- Student Loan Forgiveness and Borrower Defense
Use the online links provided to avoid falling victim to the Stimulus Check phone call scams!
Related Article: Fourth Stimulus Check Update: Expert Analysis on Possible $2000 Payments, Online Petition