Beware of Economic Stimulus Scams Here in New Jersey
"Some of our community members are very vulnerable right now due to lost wages, unemployment, illness, or simply from the stress of it all. We want you to be aware of scams that are going around and with the stimulus payments being released, unfortunately there will be scammers trying to take advantage of you." ~ Toms River Police
Unfortunately if we didn't have enough to deal with during the Coronavirus Crisis, now there are some scams out there that listeners need to be aware of.
These scams involve the economic stimulus funds coming out of Washington under President Trump's Coronavirus Task Force economic stimulus plans.
The Toms River Police have sent out some tips on how to avoid these vultures from trying to tap into your funds.
According to Toms River Police here are important things to keep in mind:
- The IRS will not call you to determine if you are eligible for a check
- Do not give your banking information to strangers offering to help.
- Do not open emails with phrases “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment”.
- Do not respond to unsolicited emails or text messages requesting to verify your identity or banking information to speed up your stimulus payment.
- Do not open file attachments from an untrusted or unknown source.
- Hang up on anyone who calls asking for your personal information. (The IRS already knows who you are)
- If you receive a fake check and they ask you to call and verify your information first, it is a scam.
- Be wary of “spoofed” phone numbers on Caller-ID pretending to be from your bank or credit card. Hang up. Call back your bank’s published phone number.
- Never give your banking PIN number to anyone.
- If you are skeptical, simply hang up or don’t respond. Protect yourself!
- Consider “freezing” your credit so scammers cannot open an account under your name. “Unfreeze” it later when you apply for a new loan or credit card.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay for anything over the phone with gift cards.