The Department of Justice has warned of a "new wave of COVID-19 scams" amid the ongoing second round of stimulus payments being delivered to Americans.
In a recent statement, the department said that the IRS-CI has seen a variety of Economic Impact Payment (EIP) scams and other financial schemes designed to steal money and personal information from taxpayers
Criminals were reported to be taking advantage of the stimulus payments and the upcoming tax filing season to trick honest taxpayers out of their hard-earned money.
Robocalls: Scammers may also try to contact you while pretending to be a government official on a robocall, which is a recorded message rather than a live person. Some of these calls might claim you need to pay an upfront fee to retrieve your stimulus check or ask you to verify your personal information.
You don't need to pay anyone to get your money. Anyone who tells you to pay a fee to get your economic impact payment is a scammer. Many of these robocalls are not only scams but are also illegal.
A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless a company has your written permission to call you that way, and if you give permission, you have the right to change your mind later.
Don't rely on your caller ID. Scammers can fake the name and number that shows up, making it look like a call is from a government agency like the Social Security Administration or a local number. That's called spoofing.
I urge citizens to remain alert and to be skeptical of any telephone calls, e-mails, or websites that request personal information or banking information, while promising money or services that seem too good to be true.
As always, if you suspect that you have been the victim of a scam of any kind, please contact us at the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office at 884-3168.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice