Home Business CONSUMER ALERT: Be on lookout for “scammers”

CONSUMER ALERT: Be on lookout for “scammers”

SPECIAL REPORT to Blowing Rock News from Lifestore Bank. April 21, 2020. WEST JEFFERSON, NC — As Americans receive their economic impact payments from the government, fraudsters are ramping up their efforts to scam people out of the payment. LifeStore Bank provides these tips to help consumers protect themselves.

  • Beware if someone contacts you and offers early access to payment.  There is not an exact timeline for when you will receive your payment. Anyone who promises early or fast payment in exchange for personal information is a scammer.
  • Beware of a caller, claiming to be from your bank, asking you for account information, pins, passwords, social security numbers or online banking information. Your bank will not call you for this information.
  • Beware if any information concerning suspicious activity is texted to you.  Texts to verify transaction activity should not ask you to give out bank information or ask you to click on a link. If you get a text, it should only be to verify a specific transaction and ask you to reply, YES or NO.  You should always reply NO if you are unaware of the transaction in question.  If you have any questions or reservations, please call your financial institution before taking action.
  • Beware of someone who uses the phrase “stimulus check.”  The checks are referred to as either Economic Impact Payments (EIP’s) or Economic Incentive Payments by the IRS and Department of Treasury.  
  • If you receive a message with a link asking you to register online in order to receive your economic impact payment, you are most likely being scammed. Do not click on the link. Government agencies will never correspond through email or text message.
  • Beware of a phone call or text asking you to verify information to claim your money. Hang up and immediately report this call to the IRS. The IRS will not call you for verification.
  • Scammers will send out fake checks with either the incorrect amount or require that you verify some personal information in order to cash it. The only mail correspondence you should receive will come from the IRS in the form of a letter with information on how the economic impact payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.

If you have any questions regarding the Economic Impact Payments, or to check on the status of your payment, enter direct deposit information, or claim your check if you are a non-tax filer, visit the official IRS website at www.irs.gov.

LifeStore dates back to 1939 when its founders saw the need for a local building and loan association to help people purchase and build new homes. Today LifeStore Bank operates four locations in Ashe and Watauga Counties and LifeStore Insurance is located in those locations as well as Elkin, Lenoir, Newland and Sparta.

EDITOR’S NOTE: LifeStore Bank is a Platinum Marketing Partner of Blowing Rock News

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