Los Alamos Police Det. Sgt. James Rodriguez wants to warn Los Alamos residents about potential scams related to COVID-19, fake stimulus checks and phishing scams from agencies pretending to be the CDC or IRS.
Stimulus checks have been approved and many people may have already received phone calls, emails, texts or mail correspondence promising them to get their money faster or in an alternate unapproved way. This is a scam! These messages about stimulus checks are requesting personal information such as social security numbers, bank account information and other identifiers. Do not provide any of your personal information over the phone, through a text or in an email. Remember that the IRS and other government agencies will not contact you via email or through text messages to obtain information. If an IRS employee does come to your home they should provide you with credentials which you have the right to see and verify.
If you qualified for a stimulus check your money will appear in your bank account which would have been obtained from previous years of filing taxes. If you did not file taxes in recent years your stimulus check will be mailed to you. The link below was obtained from the IRS website and allows you to check on the status of your check.
Other types of scams which have been going on since the outbreak of COVID-19 have been sent to victims in the same fashion but asking for donations to assist in the continued research for a cure or to help those who have contracted the virus. It is best to do some research into the charity before donating any money. The shortage of medical supplies, sanitizers, other cleaning supplies and household goods is stressful. Prior to buying any items online research should be conducted to verify that the business is reliable and real. Online searches for the business name may reveal that it is fake or that their practices are scams. Well known online stores are the safest bet when purchasing online items.
The link below was obtained from the IRS website and provides various topics of tax scams.
One way to circumvent being a victim of scammers is to avoid providing any personal information online or over the phone. A few minutes of research can help you to confirm a legitimate business and identify a scam. Stay informed and get your information from valid media and online sources to stay informed. Being informed will help you to identify fake information usually related to scams.
“Continue to be vigilant as we work through this together,” Rodriguez said.