Most Americans have received a second round of stimulus checks, but the thieves are still hard at work trying to steal your financial and personal information.

Don’t be fooled by anyone using an email or a phone call who attempts to talk you out of your money. The IRS will never call you about your stimulus check. In fact, they won’t even refer to it using the words “stimulus check”. They call it your Economic Impact Payment. The IRS won’t call you, email you, or use your Twitter account. If need be, they will, however, contact you by mail.

CNBC’s website has compiled a list of “red flags” to be aware of in order to keep you safe from these scammers, impostors, and con artists. These swindlers are counting on you being so anxious to receive your check that you will quickly take the bait and give them all your personal information they request. They may call you on the phone; send fake checks in the mail; send text messages, phony emails or use social media platforms. They will use your information you supply and deplete your bank accounts or steal your identity. CNBC reminds us to keep these four things in mind:

  1. If you’ve filed a tax return, you don’t need to do anything to get your check. The government has all the financial information it needs.
  2. Make sure you ignore phone calls and texts about your payment.
  3. As previously mentioned, the official term is Economic Impact Payment, not stimulus check or COVID check.
  4. You will never be overpaid and asked to cash your check and send the overage back. Most importantly, if it sounds too good to be true, then it’s most likely a scam.

The IRS offers an easy-to-use online tool designed to help you find out when your next check is coming and how much you might be receiving.

Encouraging scammers to remain even more obsessed with getting their hands on your information, is a new third check, still in the talking stages. President Biden has requested it be part of his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal. That could mean $1,400 for each qualified adult, and 1,400 more reasons to be vigilant when it comes to protecting yourself from becoming another fraudster’s victim.

Our members’ well-being is our top priority. If any of the VacationLand Federal Credit Union staff can be of assistance with suspected financial fraud, identity theft, or compromised credit/debit cards, feel free to discuss it with us. We are here because of you; we are here for you. Make a request for us to contact you or call us at 1-800-691-9299.