During the third week of March, many people started to get the third stimulus check after President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law. While many people are receiving their payments via direct deposit, there are some people that are receiving their stimulus checks in the mail. However, scammers know that not everyone will receive their stimulus checks automatically and come up with scams based around this to trick their victims. This is why it’s important to know how to avoid the third stimulus check scams and more information about the third stimulus checks.
More Information on the Third Stimulus Check
If you are making less than $75,000 then you will get the full $1,400 payment if you are a single tax filer. If you filed married-jointly and make below $150,000, then you will each get the full $1,400 stimulus check payments. If you filed taxes as head-of-household and make less than $112,500, then you will also get the full $1,400. If you make over these amounts, your check will decrease until you hit the max incomes of $80,000 for single filers, $120,000 for head-of-household filers, and $160,000 for married-jointly filers. Once you hit these max income limits, you will not receive a third stimulus check.
Many people should’ve already received their stimulus check by direct deposit. However, if you didn’t don’t stress out just yet. Many people are also receiving paper checks that should be on their way. If you are concerned, you can also check the status of your stimulus check through the IRS website.
Types of Third Stimulus Check Scams
According to the BBB and BBB Scam Tracker, there were many reports of people who fell for stimulus check scams in the past. These types of scams that people fell for include being contacted via phishing text messages and emails, robocalls, and fake websites. Therefore BBB and Social Catfish believe that these types of scams will happen again during the third round of stimulus checks.
These are the types of scams that you need to beware of.
Phishing Text Messages and Emails
Scammers will send phishing emails and phishing text messages, claiming that they are IRS government officials. They claim that they need more information from you to verify that you are a real person before sending you a stimulus check. They ask you to click on the link to fill out more information, but once you click on the link malware gets downloaded onto your device without you knowing.
Then, the form asks for you to fill out your personal information including name, SSN, and birthday along with your financial information so that “the check can get deposited in your account.” However, the scammer will only use this information to steal your identity and drain your bank account.
When clicking on a link within a phishing text message or email, chances are you will end up on a fake website. These fake websites will download malware onto your device and will ask you for personal and financial information from fake forms.
If you provide your information on these forms, then scammers will be able to use it to steal your money and commit identity theft. These websites will often seem legit too and will look like government official websites when they really aren’t.
Scammers will call you and pretend to be a government official. They might call for a variety of reasons to try and get their hands on your stimulus checks. Some will lie and state that you need to pay an up-front fee in order to receive your stimulus check.
Other times, they will lie and say that they need to “verify” your personal and financial information. In reality, they want to commit identity fraud with your information and drain your bank accounts. Either way, keep in mind that the government will not call you regarding your stimulus check.
Fake Checks That Were Sent in the Mail
Scammers will mail fake checks to your house that look exactly like the official government-issued paper stimulus checks. Once you deposit them, a scammer pretending to be the government will text you asking to give them back some of the money since they sent you too much money by mistake.
However, once you send back some of the money, your bank calls you letting you know that the check was fake and you now owe all the money back to the bank.
How to Avoid Third Stimulus Check Scams
- Avoid entering your personal or financial information on a website (unless it’s the official IRS website ending in .gov) or giving it to someone you don’t know.
- Report any scams to the FTC and BBB so that they can help spread awareness on stimulus check scams.
- Make sure that the check is legit before depositing it into your account by asking your bank representative.
- If you suspect a website is fake, get off the website immediately and report it.
- Don’t answer phone numbers you don’t know, and if you do, please note that the IRS will not call you for any reason.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think you’ve been a victim of third stimulus check scams.