International fraudsters are already exploiting the Coronavirus and new federal CARES Act aid, relief, and stimulus programs, which include emergency cash payments to individuals and businesses. Expect the fraud attempts to continue throughout and after the pandemic.
Criminals are using various means to contact potential victims, including:
• spoofed (forged sender/header) email and phone calls posing as U.S. Treasury officials requesting potential victims provide personal identifying information (“PII”) to receive aid payments; and
• text messages with links to official-looking websites that prompt potential victims to enter PII and other sensitive information, such as bank account numbers, direct deposit information, and passwords, to receive aid payments.
Official U.S. government aid, relief, and stimulus communications related to the Coronavirus will never be sent by text message or through any other messaging platform. Individuals, businesses, and their counsel seeking information about CARES Act aid, relief, and stimulus programs should contact only official U.S. and state government agency websites for guidance. Always be cautious and careful when providing PII, bank accounts numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information.
For U.S. law enforcement assistance, individuals, businesses, and their counsel can contact the Secret Service, FBI, and IRS, which are all working to stop and dismantle Coronavirus and CARES Act scams.
If you have any questions or need assistance combatting fraud schemes related to the CARES Act aid, relief, or stimulus programs, please contact Guidepost Solutions.