It’s a shame that thieves are taking advantage of the pandemic. Countless scams related to vaccines, vaccination cards, economic relief, employment and the COVID virus itself have surfaced.
One scam making the rounds involves a text message informing recipients that their unemployment benefits are expiring. The message includes a link to a fake state workforce agency site that requests personal information. Tap or click here for details on this scheme.
A similar financial scam involves messages regarding a third Economic Impact Payment (EIP). The senders claim to be from the International Revenue Service. Read on to see how this one works and ways to avoid falling victim to it.
Don’t click that link
The Federal Trade Commission is warning of a malicious email being sent around. The message states that the recipient can get a third EIP if they click a link to “access the form for your additional information” and “get help” with the application.
The email and message within it are fraudulent, and clicking the link can lead to your money or information being stolen. The latter can lead to identity theft.
This is one of many scams we’ve reported on that involve government impersonators:
- The FBI recently warned of fake government websites. Check out our report here.
- We also reported on scammers luring victims with offers of cheap internet while the government is offering this service in an official capacity (the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program). Tap or click here for details.
- Scammers are even calling people at home and pretending to be police officers.
How to avoid scams like this
There are a few general precautions you can take to avoid these scams:
- The government is not going to contact you in any way to say you owe money or that money is coming to you. If you get a text, email, call or see a social media post like this, it’s a scam. You may get an official letter regarding your EIP in the mail, however.
- Never give out personal or financial information over the phone or through email, text or social media.
- Don’t click any links or download any attachments from unsolicited messages.
- Spelling mistakes and other grammatical errors are red flags for scams.
- Report government impersonators to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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