Beware of Identity Theft and Forgery Scams

– Courtesy photo

Your government-issued Economic Impact Payment, known as a “stimulus check,” is not a typical check. Payment is made by direct deposit, from the IRS, into a known checking account. You do NOT have to fill out any forms or pay anything up front to get your stimulus check, and there will be no fees or charges. The IRS will simply deposit the money into your account. You won’t be asked to give your Social Security number, bank account information or credit card number to anyone. Anyone calling or door knocking regarding your stimulus check is likely a criminal.

There are currently no commercially available in-home tests for COVID-19 that consumers can purchase. Do not trust anyone who contacts you to offer to test you at home, or to sell you an in-home test. There is currently no approved vaccine, treatment or cure for COVID-19. Anyone attempting to sell you a vaccine, treatment or cure is attempting to scam you out of your money.

Be particularly aware of emails, texts and calls claiming to be from health or government officials. These calls may be an attempt to sell you a bogus treatment, deceptive safety product, a fake cure, or a false test. They may also be attempting to obtain your credit or personal information. Emails may tempt consumers to click on links to receive information or updates that will install malware of various kinds on your computer.

The best way to deal with COVID-19 is prevention. Follow guidelines to remain at home, wash your hands, and engage in social distancing. Be aware of anyone attempting to sell you cures, treatments, tests, or vaccines. Do not give anyone your personal information, and avoid any suspicious COVID-19 email or text links.

Anyone with information regarding a COVID-19 scam should call their local police department. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), download the P3 Tips mobile app on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website lacrimestoppers.org.

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