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April 15, 2020 – Americans are preparing to receive their economic impact payments from the government. With this influx of money, fraudsters are creating a variety of new scams in attempts to take these payments. The American Bankers Association has highlighted the five most common scams to watch for as listed below:

  • Offering Early Access to the Economic Impact Payment
    • There is not an exact time when eligible individuals will receive their payments. A promise of early or fast payments in exchange for personal information or money is most likely a fraud attempt.
  • Use Incorrect Terminology or Suspicious Phrases
    • The official term for the payment is “economic impact payment” as stated by the IRS. Correspondence using different terminology, such as “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment” may be a scammer.
  • False “Government” Communication
    • Government agencies will never communicate through email, call, social media or text message. If you do receive a message with a link asking you to register online to receive your economic impact payment, DO NOT click on the link. You are most likely being scammed.
  • Phone Calls or Texts Asking for Personal Information
    • Consumers do not need to take any actions to receive their economic impact. If a call is received from an individual claiming to be from your bank or a government agency asking to verify your personal information, DO NOT engage in conversation. Hang up immediately and contact us or report it to the IRS.
  • Mail a Fake Check
    • Some fraudsters will send out fake checks. These checks may or may not have the correct economic impact payment amount and would require the recipient to verify personal information to cash it. This is a scam. The only mail correspondence that you should receive will come from the IRS in letter form. This letter will have information on how the economic impact was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.

To receive your Economic Impact Payment if you did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, or if your address has changed since your last tax return was filed, click here. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

If you have any questions about a scam or the legitimacy of an economic impact payment communication, please contact us before taking action. For more information about the economic impact payments, contact us or visit the American Bankers Association FAQ.

Posted in COVID-19 by Decorah Bank on April 15, 2020.

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