We’re watching out
Scammers are notorious for capitalizing on fear, and the coronavirus outbreak is no exception. Visit Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the latest Coronavirus scams. Here's a list of common coronavirus scams:
- If you're receiving Social Security benefit, Social Security will not suspend or decrease benefit payments due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Any communication you receive that says SSA will do so is a scam. Read more here.
- If you receive a call, email, or other communication from someone claiming to be from the IRS asking for your personal identification or financial information in exchange for an economic impact payment, do not respond as IRS will never contact you by phone to retrieve your personal information.
- Medicare scams. Just like the IRS, Medicare will never contact you by phone, email, or text to seek or verify your personal information.
- Scammers and scamming companies are using robocalls to exploit the fear and uncertainty surrounding the virus, learn more about their scammy pitches so you know how to handle robocalls (hint: hang up!)
- Watch out for alert emails appearing to be from the CDC or WHO; however, they’re actually created by the scammers. These emails sport the logo of the agencies that allegedly sent them, and the URL is similar to those of the agencies as well. Always visit the actual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) websites for the latest updates.
- Charity scams. Do a thorough research when it comes to donations, don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
- The fake cure scams. Scammers are peddling bogus cures and vaccines. If you’re offered a drug or vaccine to fight coronavirus — especially by a company you’ve never heard of — you’re looking at a scam.
- Technician support scams. You may get calls from people claiming to be a Microsoft technician indicating there are viruses on your system, these are scammers who want you to pay for services you don’t need. Learn more on how to handle a situation like this.
Basic preventative measures can keep scammers from making you their next target. As always, it’s important to keep the anti-malware and antivirus software on your computer up to date, and to strengthen the security settings on all of your devices.
Practice responsible browsing when online. Never download an attachment from an unknown source or click on links embedded in an email or social media post from an unknown individual. Don’t share sensitive information online, either. If you’re unsure about a website’s authenticity, check the URL and look for the lock icon and the “s” after the “http” indicating the site is secure.
One of the most crucial elements of the CARES Act is the plan to distribute stimulus checks to eligible individuals. These payment could arrive in your account as early as the week of April 12. The IRS will be sending these out each week, so you may not see yours right away. Here are a few helpful tools from the IRS:
- For individuals who don't normally file a tax return, you can register with IRS here to receive your payment.
- You can check your payment status with Get My Payment.
- For the most up to date information regarding the Economic Impact Payment, please visit IRS website.
Financial Counseling from GreenPath
If you or a loved one has been financially impacted by the COVID-19, our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness can help. A national non-profit, GreenPath offers counseling and advice (free-of-charge) to people facing debt and other issues.
Remote learning and children’s privacy
Due to Coronavirus-related school closures, many students are now provided the opportunity of learning from home. Learn more about privacy and security of your children’s personal data while they’re learning online.
Visit COVID-19 readiness page for the latest branch operations updates.