Well, the scammers of the world are really working overtime to take advantage of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
It seems that every week or so another scam pops up to try to separate innocent people from whatever little money they have left after being out of work for almost a month.
A very dangerous pandemic-related scam is making the rounds right this very moment and it’s targeting folks who are still expecting an economic stimulus payment to arrive.
A lot of our friends and neighbors are struggling financially, and they’re really hurting.
Unfortunately, when someone is struggling like that it makes them more susceptible to these types of scams than they would usually be.
I mentioned a wide range of Coronavirus-related scams in an earlier post, but the scam I’ll be describing below has turned out to be the most dangerous one at the current time.
In a nutshell, this is simply another type of email phishing scam. The thing is, a LOT of people are falling for this one.
It more or less goes like this…
The scammers are posing as representatives of the IRS.
The actual wording of the fraudulent emails varies quite a bit, but the general message is always the same: Uncle Sam really wants to get your money to you but they can’t because they don’t have your bank account information!
The email then provides a link labeled “Click Here to Claim your Stimulus Payment“.
If you click that link you’ll be taken to a realistic looking, but fake IRS web page with a form asking you to enter your banking info.
As you can probably guess, if you enter your bank’s routing number, your checking account number and the other requested info into the form, the hackers will use that info to attempt to clean out your bank account.
And to add insult to injury, they’ll steal your identity and try to take out loans in your name.
Bottom line: It’s horrible when scammers try to take advantage of innocent people at any time, but it’s even worse when they try to exploit times like this to steal from those who are already struggling to make it from day to day.
If you receive an email like the one described above, don’t open it. Instead, just delete it and forget about it.
The IRS does not contact people out of the blue via email for these types of things. If they need information from you (or want to provide info to you) they’ll do it by regular old “snail mail”.
If you’ve already received one of these emails and entered the requested info into a form, you should contact your bank immediately and let them know about it so they can take steps to protect your account from unauthorized transactions.