Scammers Target Older People for Stimulus Checks

Usually, on Tuesdays, we share recipes we like. Recently, we have been sharing some great pantry-friendly recipes to enjoy while following stay-at-home orders. However, this week we are breaking tradition to alert you to scams that are on the rise as people attempt to cheat older people out of their stimulus checks.

We aim for customer wellness. That’s why we felt it was so important, for the sake of your wellbeing, to interrupt our usual blogs to inform you about a growing collection of scams cheating folks out of their COVID-19 stimulus checks. It’s deeply saddening to know that, during these trying times, people are still running scams. However, this is the perfect setting for them to prey on the vulnerable when things are changing day to day. The Neuliven Health team wanted to give our customers more information so that everyone can protect themselves.

The IRS says scammers are mostly targeting older people as they are less likely to file a tax return. The IRS has stated, “No one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail or in-person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment.”

Additionally, other warning signs can help you spot a scam. One thing to watch is the wording, the IRS does not use the term “stimulus check,” they call it an “economic impact payment.” The scammers may target people by saying that they are an independent company that can work with the IRS to help people get their money faster. They ask for folks’ banking information, social security number or other personal information. Scammers are also mailing fake checks for strange amounts of money with a note saying that people need to call a number or go to a website to get their total payment. If a message, caller or email tells you that you must pay money to receive your check, it is a scam.

You should never authenticate yourself to anyone who contacts you,” said Adam Levin, the chairman and founder of the cybersecurity firm, CyberScout. A government agency already has your information. If you call the IRS, they may want the last four digits of your social security number to confirm your identity, but that’s all. If you get an email, Google the sender’s email address to see if it’s possibly real but don’t follow up, reach out to the government organization separately. Others have reported people calling claiming to be bank representatives.

History has shown that criminals take every opportunity to perpetrate a fraud on unsuspecting victims, especially when a group of people is vulnerable or in a state of need,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort. “While you are waiting to hear about your economic impact payment, criminals are working hard to trick you into getting their hands on it. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is working hard to find these scammers and shut them down, but in the meantime, we ask people to remain vigilant.”

The IRS has stressed that retirees who aren’t required to file tax returns don’t have to register now to receive their check; no action is required. And, no one is getting the check early. But, they are coming soon, some people have already received them.

Hopefully, life will return to normal soon. But, know that we here at Neuliven Health are working to help our customers through these difficult times.
April 14, 2020
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