TOMS RIVER – The Toms River Police Department is warning people that there are scammers looking to take advantage of people who desperately need the stimulus payment that’s part of the CARES Act.
“Some of our community members are very vulnerable right now due to lost wages, unemployment, illness, or simply from the stress of it all,” police said. “We want you to be aware of scams that are going around and with the stimulus payments being released, unfortunately there will be scammers trying to take advantage of you.”
The IRS will deposit your payment into the bank account listed on your tax return. Social Security will get their money the same way they get their monthly benefits, even if they didn’t file a return for 2018 or 2019.
Important things to keep in mind:
- The IRS will not call you to determine if you are eligible for a check.
- Do not give your banking information to strangers offering to help.
- Do not open emails with phrases “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.”
- Do not respond to unsolicited emails or text messages requesting to verify your identity or banking information to speed up your stimulus payment.
- Do not open file attachments from an untrusted or unknown source.
- Hang up on anyone who calls asking for your personal information. (The IRS already knows who you are)
- If you receive a fake check and they ask you to call and verify your information first, it is a scam.
- Be wary of “spoofed” phone numbers on Caller-ID pretending to be from your bank or credit card. Hang up. Call back your bank’s published phone number.
- Never give your banking PIN number to anyone.
- If you are skeptical, simply hang up or don’t respond. Protect yourself!
- Consider “freezing” your credit so scammers cannot open an account under your name. “Unfreeze” it later when you apply for a new loan or credit card.
- NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay for anything over the phone with gift cards.