This week, Americans nationwide will begin receiving their second round of COVID-related stimulus checks. And just like with the first round, online scammers and malicious actors will no doubt be attempting to scam them out of their money.
Scams can include sending fake checks trying to trick the victim into calling a number in order to verify information, reaching out via social media, email, or phone in order to verify the victim’s social security number, offering faster processing of the victims stimulus checks if they pay a small processing fee, and offering cash advances at a very high interest rate that adds up to be much higher than the stimulus check.
So how can you prevent yourself from being a victim? Some very simple steps can be taken:
- The IRS, nor any other official government agency, will ever ask for your social security number via email, phone call, text, or through social media. Do NOT provide your information this way.
- If anyone offers a faster payment, it is most definitely a scam as the IRS will process your stimulus check based on a specific date specified and communicated to the American people.
- If anyone offers a cash advance on your stimulus check, be very aware of the underlying terms and conditions of that offer. More than likely it is at a very high interest rate that will cost you much more than what you would be getting from your stimulus check.