The Bradford County Commissioners’ office recently received notification of a scam targeting people who are expecting a stimulus payment from the federal government following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The IRS has reported a surge of scam artists perpetrating phishing schemes where they pose as government officials to trick people into turning over their banking information, thus allowing a criminal to steal their identity, file a fraudulent tax return in their name or use their personal data for other illicit purposes.
According to the IRS, the phone, email, text or social media messages associated with these scams may say, “In order to receive your stimulus check via direct deposit, you will need to confirm your banking information.” These messages are targeting not only individuals but tax professionals as well.
“If you have received an unsolicited email or phone call asking for your personal or financial information, the safest response is to delete the email or hang up the phone, advises Acting Secretary of Banking and Securities, Richard Vague. “Consumers must remain vigilant about protecting their finances, especially if they are being pressured to act quickly.”