Cyber-scammers and hackers around the world are working hard right now because they know they have a great opportunity to do what they do best. It’s sad, but scammers are using government relief initiatives to scam people of their money and personal information.
Founder and Chairman of CyberScout Adam Levin says that scammers everywhere are targeting the millions of U.S. citizens receiving their coronavirus stimulus checks.
Scammers are doing everything they can think of such as calling and representing themselves as if they’re from the government, texting and sending fake links prompting people to “Click here,”‘ and e-mailing with offers to expedite or increase stimulus checks prompting people to fill out the attachment.
“They’re looking to get sensitive personal information. They’re looking to get financial information. And in particular, they’re zeroing in on trying to get your Social Security number, which is the skeleton key to your life,” Levin says.
Don’t just easily give away personal information by following these rules:
- Be independent in confirming who is calling, texting, or e-mailing. Hackers are proficient at spoofing names and phone numbers!
- Go to the real source, whether it’s the federal or state government website, the IRS website, or a financial institution website.
- Don’t click on an unknown link.
- Don’t open unknown attachments.
- Be careful, always question, always verify.
Scammers are also targeting small businesses taking advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created to help small businesses with necessary costs like paying employees, rent, utilities, etc. Watch out for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing e-mails.
Report any suspected fraud to the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or via their online complaint process.
These scams are plotted to take your stimulus check and personal information. Be diligent, folks, and don’t let it happen!
Beware of Paycheck Protection Program Scams