Stimulus Scams, Money Flipping, and Digital Credit Card Skimming–What You Need to Know

Stimulus Scams, Money Flipping, and Digital Credit Card Skimming–What You Need to Know

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Scammers and fraudsters are always looking for new tools to steal from you, yet the basics never change. They want your money or your personal information, and they’ll trick you or scare you into giving it over.

With that in mind, here are three scams that law enforcement agencies are warning against right now. Stay on your guard and trust your gut!

New Stimulus Check Scam

We were all hoping for a second stimulus payment, but that’s not going to happen now. Unfortunately, scammers know how eager people are to get another Economic Impact Payment. The IRS warns that scammers are sending out text messages to US citizens with a link to “confirm” their bank information in order to receive a direct deposit of $1200.

This is not a real message from the IRS or any other part of the federal government. Although the fake site mimics IRS.gov, remember that the government will never text you out of the blue. They always contact people through the Postal Service first. And, sadly, there is no stimulus to claim. Don’t be fooled into giving away your personal information.

Money Flipping Scams Find New Life During Pandemic

Money flipping scams are nothing new. It’s the same old “get rich quick” fraud that’s been around since humans invented currency.

As the pandemic stretches on, more people are spending significant amounts of time on social media. Many of them may be looking for work or hoping to find a way to make ends meet during a furlough or slowdown at their jobs. The promise of quick cash is even harder to ignore than ever. But you’re too smart to fall for this age-old scam!

If you see a post on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook promising a guaranteed return on investment, don’t click. These scams ask for a small investment up front and promise huge returns–sometimes up to ten times what you paid in. They may ask for payment through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. That’s always a bad sign.

Digital Credit Card Skimming

Credit card skimmers are small devices that can steal your card information when you pay for something or get money out of an ATM. You probably won’t even notice that it’s there!

Digital skimming uses the same principle but takes things online. Hackers upload code to legitimate shopping websites that will “scan” your information as you process a payment. This happened in October 2019 to Macy’s in a cyber attack that stole information from shoppers. Considering how much information you need to provide during checkout, digital skimming can have serious consequences for your bank account and security.

Experts recommend that you do not save your payment information on individual sites where you shop. Although it makes life easier to order with the click of a button, it’s also much easier for criminals to steal your information. Use a third-party payment app with additional security, such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet instead. Finally, never shop on an unsecured WiFi network or using your cellular data, as those are easier to intercept.