As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the nation, reports of sophisticated scammers attempting to take advantage of consumers are on the rise.

Phone calls, emails, text messages, physical mail, and financial scams are becoming more and more prevalent. As your trusted financial institution here at US Community Credit Union, we want to remind you to stay cautious and vigilant. Together, we will get through this, and together we can protect your identity, your finances, and your well-being.

Safety tips for YOU regarding the economic-impact or stimulus checks:

  • Your financial institution, especially USCCU, and the IRS, will never contact you for personal information – it is already safely and securely stored! This is the most common tactic fraudsters are using. Oftentimes, scammers have bits and pieces of personal information but are missing those key details such as social security and PIN numbers. Impersonating the IRS on a call and stating that you need to verify such information before you receive your relief check is a SCAM. Hang up immediately.
  • If you receive a call, email, text, or social media message from someone stating the IRS needs money or additional personal information before sending your stimulus check, do not reply. This is a scam. Do not click on any links as it could reroute you to a malicious or fraudulent site.
  • You’ll never have to click through any links in an email or text message to collect your relief aid.
  • If you completed your 2018 or 2019 tax return and received your tax refund via direct deposit, that is how you will be receiving your stimulus check. If the IRS does not have direct deposit information on file, you’ll be sent secure instructions on how to securely set it up through a government portal. Should you choose to not do so, only then will they mail out a physical check.
  • You’ll never have to verify the check amount. Individuals with adjusted gross income below $75,000 will receive a check for $1,200. Married households filing jointly will receive $2,400, and $500 for every qualifying child.
  • If you receive a phone call from a person offering assistance to help you obtain your relief payment faster than the government timeline, be aware. This is likely a scam.
  • If you receive a physical check in the mail with an attached note instructing you to call the number listed and verify personal information, do not call the number. Be cautious of the check received as well, as it is likely a fraudulent check.
  • If you receive an email, text message, or social media message with the subject line of “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment” this is likely a scam. Per government officials, this payment’s official name is an “economic-impact payment” and all official correspondence will utilize this phrase.

Other safety tips for YOU surrounding COVID-19 and your personal and financial health and well-being:

  • If you haven’t signed up for USCCU’s IDProtect Program or Fraud Prevention Service, it might be a good idea to do so immediately. Fraud Prevention detects unusual spending and suspicious activity on your debit and credit cards. IDProtect monitors your identity, your credit report, and allows you to register your debit and credit cards to track for fraudulent activity.
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Use trusted sources – such as legitimate government websites for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information through email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Do not respond to calls or text messages from unknown numbers
  • Be cautious if the person on the other end of the phone is pressuring you to share information or make a payment right away.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering a call that appears to be coming from a known contact. Remember, government agencies and financial institutions will never call you to ask for personal information.
  • Do not give sensitive or personal information out to anyone over the phone. If someone calls you and claims to represent a charity, business, or financial institution and asks for personal information, immediately hang up and call the business, charity of financial institution number you have on file to verify.
  • Confirm a charity’s authenticity before making any donations. Additionally, be wary of GoFundMe Pages and other fundraising sites. Always verify their legitimacy before donating any money.
  • If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact US immediately. We will review your concerns together and address them. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account.
  • Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.

USCCU is here to help you. We have developed member resources to assist with your financial needs during this time. Click here to learn more about your options.

Call US at 615-256-8712 with any questions or concerns.