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Scammers are the worst.
They often prey on the most vulnerable and take advantage of people’s hard earned money.
I have zero issues for enforcing the steepest penalties against people who make a living scamming others.
Unfortunately, there are many scammers out there who are trying to utilize the stimulus packages as a way to scam people out of their money.
Since back in March, the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has received over 5,000 complaints from people who have received fraudulent text messages.
These have been unsolicited text messages that have defrauded individuals of more than $2 million.
These scams can come in many forms.
There have been reports of fraudsters calling people regarding special coronavirus “grants.”
People then input personal financial information expecting to receive some type of grant aid and in reality they get money taken out of their bank.
Another type of scam that has been deployed is telling people that they can get their stimulus checks faster if they share sensitive personal information and financial details such as bank account numbers and Social Security numbers.
Some even have got people to pay a small processing fee for their stimulus checks.
If you receive a fraudulent text message, it might state something like this:
“You have a three pending direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND.”
“Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment.”
At the end of the message you might see a hyperlink to a suspicious website.
There are also reports of people receiving text messages regarding a second stimulus check which we know has not been authorized yet.
My advice would be to avoid clicking on any links and text messages that mention anything related to stimulus checks.
Also avoid giving out any information in response to a text message.
The only place you should be in putting personal information related to stimulus checks is the IRS website.
Some of these scams are pretty obvious because they are so bold and will do something like threaten you with jail time if you don’t give them your Social Security number.
In those cases, you will probably quickly pick up that you are being scammed but other instances might be more subtle so stay alert.
If you are curious about the different types of scams that take place and want to get information on how to protect yourself and report shady activity, check out the infographic below.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.