Gloucester County Board of Commissioners would like to warn residents of future scams of fake claims of offering stimulus payments.
In a specific scam, texts are sent to individuals that ask for information so they can receive a $600 stimulus payment. Scammers are using COVID-19, stimulus and related keywords to trick people into providing personal information.
Federal authorities have sounded the alarm over fraud that prey upon financial and health worries brought on by the pandemic. Officials with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigations said they were investigating hundreds of the scams, including those that use the government’s latest round of stimulus funds as a trap.
“The IRS would never send unsolicited texts or emails asking for banking information,” said Commissioner Director Robert M. Damminger. “We’ve heard that scammers are targeting individuals, specifically seniors, for their bank account information while promising them payments in return.”
“Scammers are always looking for new opportunities. Unfortunately, that means taking advantage of individuals struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner Lyman Barnes. “There are key red flags to look out for when you suspect a scam, so try to remember these to be prepared.”
- Unsolicited calls or emails
- Messages that ask to “verify” or provide information
- High- pressure tactics like asking for things “immediately”
- Any fee involved
- Lookalike checks- they may look exactly like a government check
PLEASE NOTE: Gloucester County has contacted individuals via text regarding their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It has explicitly stated that it is a message from Gloucester County’s Mega Vaccination Site. If you ever have a concern, please don’t hesitate to contact Gloucester County’s COVID-19 Testing Hotline at (856) 218-4142.
The Gloucester County COVID-19 Hotline can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (856) 218-4142. Please note: this hotline will not be able to register you for a vaccine or appointment time that can only be done by visiting https://covidvaccine.nj.gov.
If you ever have a concern or questions concerning a suspicious email, please reach out to the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846 or visit their website.