Everyone’s asking “Where’s my stimulus check” and searching for information online. The problem is – so are scammers. They are trying to steal your information and your stimulus check.
Scammers have set up more than 180,000 websites in an attempt to steal data or misinform consumers, according to data from Checkphish by Bolster. The security firm has spotted more than 149,000 suspicious domain registrations with the term “stimulus check” in them.
Here’s the big problem:
HALF THE PEOPLE WATCHING THIS VIDEO – YOUR DATA HAS ALREADY BEEN BREACHED
Equifax, one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies in the United States, announced in September 2017 that its systems had been breached and the sensitive personal data of 148 million Americans had been compromised. This is unprecedented.
In this training video, Dr. Nitin Chhoda reveals 8 Ways to prevent Scammers from stealing your stimulus checks.
1. Non-filers beware! You are the most vulnerable
Non-filers – people who don’t submit tax returns because they don’t earn enough money to be required to do so – are also eligible for stimulus checks. They must enter their personal data into a website hosted by the IRS to have the money direct deposited into a bank account. Don’t let scammers trick you into putting your information on fake sites.
2. Stop giving away information on social media!
In some cases, individuals themselves offer their own data on a silver platter via social media. This is why you shouldn’t share your birthday, full name, email address and other details. Armed with this data, scammers could try grabbing non-filers’ stimulus payments and routing the cash elsewhere.
3. Start monitoring your credit
You will real-time alerts and notifications in case someone tries accessing your credit report, and more
4. Start freezing your credit
Freeze access to your credit report on Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Google “how to freeze my credit on xxx” and do the same for all 3 credit reporting agencies.
5. Stop clicking on links or attachments in emails!
Scammers use this technique to steal your personal information
6. If someone calls you, DO NOT GIVE them your information
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 DO NOT 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.
7. DO NOT Respond to a Text Message!
Scammers will ask you to text them back to find out more about the stimulus check. Do not reply.
8. Only go to official IRS / government websites!
The IRS reminds taxpayers that the new tools on IRS.gov – Get My Payment and the Non-Filer – are safe and secure to use. Go directly and solely to IRS.gov to use these tools and official information to avoid scams directing people to other websites.
Only use https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus to submit information to the IRS – and never in response to a call, text, or email.