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New Jersey's Trusted Personal Injury Lawyers

Coronavirus Scams: Tips to Spot Fraud & Identity Theft

As a law firm focused exclusively on protecting the rights of real people, consumers, and families who’ve suffered harm and losses at the hands of others, our team at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. believe it’s important to educate our clients and communities about important issues that may impact them or their loved ones. This includes your financial well-being at a time when coronavirus scams are on the rise.

As many of us know, the $2-trillion dollar CARES Act provides much needed relief to individual Americans and small businesses. Under the Act, U.S. residents who meet the established income limits are entitled to receive stimulus payments from the federal government. This includes:

  • Taxpayers who filed federal tax returns for 2018 or 2019
  • Retirees who receive Social Security or other retirement benefits
  • Beneficiaries who received public benefits such as SSDI, disability, or VA benefits
  • Non-filers who don’t have to file federal tax returns (i.e. people making less than $12,000)

Most taxpayers don’t have to do anything to receive their money. Here’s how it will work:

  • The IRS will automatically deposit Economic Impact Payments into the bank account provided on your 2018 / 2019 tax return.
  • Those without direct deposit accounts may be able to provide their banking information through Get My Payment, a new secure tool.
  • Eligible recipients without direct deposit information will receive payment mailed to the last address the IRS has on file.

What Taxpayers Need to Know

Unfortunately, times of crisis provide bad actors with ample opportunity to capitalize on people in need. Here’s what you should know:

  1. The IRS does NOT charge any fees to issue stimulus payments.
  2. The IRS will not call, e-mail, or text you to request or verify your personal information.
  3. IRS.gov’s Coronavirus Tax Relief page has the most up-to-date information about payments and resources for consumers.

With advancing technology and increasingly innovative tactics, scammers have become very good at what they do A scammer may:

  • Ask you to sign over your Economic Impact Payment Check to them;
  • Ask you to provide or verify your personal or banking information;
  • Tell you they can get you your money faster by working on your behalf
  • Issue fake checks, often in odd amounts, and tell you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Tips to Protect Against Scammers

Remember that scammers are out there, and take steps to protect yourself and your family with a few simple tips:

  1. Be wary of websites and social media requests for money or personal information. The official website for any payment-related issue is IRS.gov.
  2. Do not open surprise e-mails that appear to come from the IRS or click attachments or links.
  3. Do not provide your personal information or engage with scammers over the phone.
  4. Forward suspicious e-mails to phising@irs.gov, and then delate the e-mail.
  5. If you have any questions, visit IRS.gov.

During these difficult times, Levinson Axelrod is committed to supporting the communities that so often place their trust in us after accidents and injuries. We encourage you to share this information with friends and loved ones.

Should you or anyone you know need legal assistance with a personal injury or workers’ compensation matter, our team is available remotely to provide free and confidential consultations.

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