Financial Fraud Update
Covid-19 relief payments
The U.S. Congress has enacted a massive relief package for Covid-19 disease to help individuals and businesses.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have raised concerns about scammers and fraudsters that impersonate federal employees and ask you to verify personal account information in order to receive a payment.
Here are the payment facts
The relief package passed by the U.S. Congress mandates the following.
- Direct cash payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples.
- There is an additional benefit of $500 for every child.
- The payments are based on 2019 U.S. Tax Returns for those who filed them and 2018 U.S. Tax Returns if they have not filed yet for 2019.
All the payment rules and restrictions are available at U.S. Treasury website www.treasury.gov.
Here are the security facts
- The U.S. Government will not contact you about these payments—period.
- The U.S. Government will not ask you to verify payment information of any kind.
- The U.S. Government will not ask you to pay any fee or charge to receive payment.
- The U.S. Government will not offer to expedite your payment for a fee.
What should I do to protect my personal information
Your personal information is secure with your financial institution. The scammers are very convincing con artists … good at what they do.
Just ask yourself the question:
- Hang up if you receive a telephone call from someone who claims to be from a government agency asking for verification of personal information.
- Ignore or delete it if you get a pop-up message, email or text that directs you to call a certain number or visit a website to verify personal information.
- Never reply to a phone number or use a website that is part of a suspicious call, pop-up or text message to verify personal information.
- Phishing emails are near-replica websites of a trusted or well-known institution such as your financial institution or a government agency. When in doubt, you should initiate contact through a known telephone number or website.
Why would your financial institution or the government need to contact you for personal information to make or receive a payment—they already have it!
Report the attempted theft
- Federal Trade Commission
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Internet Crime Complaint Center
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- National Credit Union Association
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