Criminals/Scammers are taking advantage of the fear surrounding COVID-19 and are reaching out by phone, email, text, social media, and mail and using COVID-19 as new bait to hook individuals and businesses! One of their favorites is with stimulus checks from the government.
You’ve seen news stories about whether financial help for businesses might be available in the future. But remember that criminals read those headlines, too, and use them to make their phony pitches sound more credible. If someone calls or emails you out of the blue claiming there’s money available from a government agency if you just make an up-front payment or provide some personal information, it’s a phony. Pay attention to checks that are being cashed or deposited. This type of fraud is happening in Missouri already.
- The government will not ask a client to pay anything up-front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
- The government will not call, email, or text and ask for their Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
- These reports of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get the money right now is a scammer.
This is only one of the many ways criminals are using to scam unsuspecting people. They are using robocalls, fake COVID-19 test kits, and fake emails from the CDC, among dozens of other methods. We at The Callaway Bank are always trying to help clients, friends, and our community stay safe from scams. To learn more and keep up with ways to protect yourself we recommend going to www.ftc.gov/coronavirus.