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Fake emails, texts, and phone calls about these payments have risen 6,000% in recent weeks.
Scammers are now sending emails threatening to poison victims' families with coronavirus unless a ransom is paid, sometimes listing a victim's real username and password to appear credible.
Here are clues that fraudsters are trying to steal your money.
A message about your payment arrives as an email, text, social media post, or phone call.
The “IRS” claims you must first make a payment in order to get a stimulus check.
The IRS only communicates by mail.
Fraudsters claiming to be with the IRS often insist you make a payment using iTunes gift cards, money orders, debit cards, or a wire transfer.
The “IRS” demands financial information before it can process your payment.
The “IRS” says it mistakenly paid you too much and demands you return the money.
The IRS has your financial information. It’s fraudsters who want it.
The IRS doesn’t do that. Fraudsters do.
The email urgently requests a donation and provides a link to the Red Cross.
A phone call or email promises to speed the deposit of your stimulus payment if you provide personal information.
Emails are often designed by fraudsters to collect personal information, not to help a charitable organization. To make a donation, visit the Red Cross website directly.
The only way to check on the status of your payment or provide information is to visit the IRS “Get My Payment” website.
Unless you send money immediately, an email threatens to go public with embarrassing information about you and displays personal information like one of your passwords.
An email about your stimulus payment, how to order personal protective equipment, or getting a COVID test directs you to a professional-looking website with the word “coronavirus” in the web address.
The password was stolen in an earlier data breach. Change the password wherever it’s used and ignore the email.
Tens of thousands of fake websites that include the words “coronavirus” or “COVID” have been created in recent weeks.
An email refers to your “stimulus check” or “coronavirus check”.
A fake email or text has a link to “opt-out” of future messages.
The IRS will only refer to the payment as an “economic impact payment.”
Don't click on it. These links only prove to scammers that they’ve reached a working address.
Click on the image to download and print a copy of this list.
Ransomware on the rise: In the coming days, you may learn personal information about Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, and other personalities. A law firm they use has been hacked, and thieves are threatening to make sensitive information about these stars public unless a ransom is paid. Don't let your employer get hacked with ransomware! Avoid downloading email attachments that you're unsure about.
Many new COVID websites are fakes. 30,000 new websites with the word "COVID" have been established in recent weeks. According to the cybersecurity company CheckPoint, an estimated one in five of those websites is malicious, designed only to collect personal information that can be used to steal money and personal identities. The company also says fake emails claiming to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting donations to help fight COVID are on the rise.
Aware Force Cybersecurity News • May 2020 b • Edition #94
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