As we're all constantly checking our bank accounts to see if we've been stimulated yet, there are scammers just salivating at the chance to swindle us. While most of these should be easy to sniff out, this can be a reminder to check on your elderly family members who might fall for a call or text from someone who sounds official but has sinister motives.

Here's the list of tips from the TRPD:

  • The IRS will not call you to determine if you are eligible for a check.
  • Do not give your banking information to strangers offering to help.
  • Do not open emails with phrases “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment”.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited emails or text messages requesting to verify your identity or banking information to speed up your stimulus payment.
  • Do not open file attachments from an untrusted or unknown source.
  • Hang up on anyone who calls asking for your personal information. (The IRS already knows who you are).
  • If you receive a fake check and they ask you to call and verify your information first, it is a scam.
  • Be wary of “spoofed” phone numbers on Caller-ID pretending to be from your bank or credit card. Hang up. Call back your bank’s published phone number.
  • Never give your banking PIN number to anyone.
  • If you are skeptical, simply hang up or don’t respond. Protect yourself!
  • Consider “freezing” your credit so scammers cannot open an account under your name. “Unfreeze” it later when you apply for a new loan or credit card.
  • NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay for anything over the phone with gift cards.

Like I said, most of this is common sense. I know better than to open suspicious emails, I'm not going to click a link sent to me in a random text, and I typically just don't answer any call that comes into my phone from a number that isn't in my Contacts. Still, everyone is kind of tense right now, so your brain might not be functioning properly, and you should always check up on your parents/grandparents just to be safe.

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