Virginia Banks Offer Information on Protecting Your Economic Impact Payment from Scammers
As eligible Americans prepare to receive their economic impact payment from the government, fraudsters are ramping up their efforts to scam people out of their payment. To help consumers protect themselves, Virginia banks are highlighting the five most common scams to watch out for:
- Offers for early access to your payment. There is no exact timeline for when eligible consumers will receive economic impact payments. Anyone who promises early or fast payment in exchange for personal information is most likely a scammer.
- Communications that use suspicious phrases. The IRS has stated that the official term for payments is “economic impact payment.” If you receive any correspondence using the phrases “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment,” it may be a clue that a fraudster is trying to take your cash.
- “Phishy” emails or texts. Government agencies will never correspond through email or text message. If you receive a message with a link asking you to register online in order to receive your economic impact payment, you are most likely being scammed. Do not click on the link.
- Bogus phone calls and texts asking for personal information. If you receive a phone call or text from someone claiming to be from your bank or a government agency asking to verify your personal information, hang up immediately and call your bank or report it to the IRS.
- Phony checks. Some scammers will send out fake checks—with either the correct or incorrect economic impact payment amount—and require the recipient to verify personal information in order to cash it. The only mail correspondence you should receive will come from the IRS in the form of a letter with information on how the economic impact payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.
The IRS is developing an online portal so you can check the status of your information and your payment. That portal—which will be called “Get My Payment”—is expected to be available by April 17. In addition, the IRS has launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for those who don’t normally file a tax return. For the most up-to-date information, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.
If you would like to schedule an interview with Virginia Bankers Association President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst on this issue or any other banking industry topics, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Virginia Bankers Association
The Virginia Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and has served as the unified voice for Virginia’s $615 billion banking industry and its 42 thousand employees since 1893. To learn more about the VBA, click here.