Following the announcement of a federal stimulus package earlier this week, scammers are now using this to target vulnerable individuals. The Better Business Bureau says it has already received reports on the BBB Scam Tracker about government imposters calling in reference to the relief checks.
The BBB is reporting that the scam involves the victim receiving a message or seeing a social media post claiming that they qualify for a COVID-19 government-issued check. By clicking the link, BBB officials claim that the victim is taken to a seemingly official website asking you to enter personal information and banking details.
The BBB Scam Tracker has received multiple reports of people being contacted through text message, social media and phone calls. They say one version of the scam comes in the form of a Facebook post offering senior citizens a special grant to help pay medical bills. Other versions of the scam claim that you can get up to $150K if you share your personal details and pay a small “processing fee.”
The Better Business Bureau warns that no matter what the message, don’t click. Not only can you get scammed out of money, your device could be susceptible to downloaded malware that uses information for identity theft.
The BBB wants everyone to be aware that it is not required to pay money to receive a “free” government grant. Government officials never communicate trough social media sites, says the BBB, so be wary of any unsolicited messages.
You can help others avoid falling victim to scams by reporting them to BBB.org/ScamTracker.