COVID-19 Scam Prevention Tips

COVID-19 Scam Prevention Tips

Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-800-FTC-HELP.


The IRS is continuing to distribute economic impact payments through 2020. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive the payments automatically. Automatic payments are also going to those receiving Social Security retirement, or disability (SSDI), and Railroad Retirement benefits. Recipients of SSI and Veterans Affairs or survivor benefits should receive their payments by mid-May.


The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the Economic Impact Payments. To use the new app or get information, taxpayers should visit IRS.gov. People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments. Be careful and cautious: The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website or share personal or financial information. Remember, go directly and solely to IRS.gov for official information.


The FTC has laid out four points to help you avoid scams related to your economic impact payment:

  • Only use irs.gov/coronavirus to submit information to the IRS – and never in response to a call, text, or email.
  • The IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number. Anyone who does is a scammer phishing for your information.
  • You don’t have to pay to get your stimulus money.
  • The IRS won’t tell you to deposit your stimulus check then send them money back because they paid you more than they owed you. That’s a fake check scam.

Scammers are using email to con people into donating to fake fundraisers. Here are some helpful tips from Wisconsin AARP:

 

  • Watch for common sounding names
  • Utilize BBB’s Give.org to verify charity before making a donation.
  • Be wary of GoFundMe requests. Ask yourself: do you know the person and can you verify the cause is legitimate?
  • Watch out for name similarities.
  • Review the organization’s website carefully.
  • Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations.