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Better Business Bureau Warns Against Stimulus Scams

Your privacy and financial security are one of First Southern National Bank's top priorities. This is why we do our best to keep you updated on the latest scams and provide helpful tips on how to help prevent fraud.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected people, businesses, and communities around the world, and we know our customers are no exception. Our team, as well as The Better Business Bureau, remind everyone to remain vigilant to avoid scams related to the virus, to use necessary, common-sense precautions when traveling, and to find reliable sources to stay informed about what to do.

One of the latest ways that scammers have taken advantage of the pandemic is by targeting individuals with false information about the proposed federal stimulus package. Be watchful for phony government grants that ask for personal and banking information and promise a check to offset lost income.

The Better Business Bureau has received reports on BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker) about government impostors contacting consumers through text messages, social media posts and messages, and phone calls referencing checks.

With the timely news stories about the proposed stimulus plan, it is understandable why folks would think these claims are real. Worse, these links typically redirect to what looks like an official website asking for personal information and/or banking details.

One specific scam site requests your Social Security number under the guise of needing to verify your eligibility. In other versions, scammers claim that you can get additional money – up to $150K in one case – or even receive your funds immediately. All you need to do is share personal details and pay a small “processing fee.”

No matter what the message, don’t click these links! In addition to taking your money, these sites can also download malware to your device and use the information on your device for identity theft.

Other Tips From The BBB to Spot a COVID-19 Grant Scam:

  • Government agencies do not communicate through social media. Be wary of unsolicited messages on these platforms.
  • Never pay for a "free" government grant. If you have to pay money to claim a "free" government grant, it is not really free. A real government agency will not ask you to pay an advanced processing fee. The only official list of all U.S. federal grant-making agencies is available at Grants.gov.
  • Check for look-alikes. Be sure to do your research and see if a government agency or organization really exists.
  • Don’t assume an offer in a social media message is from a real friend. It’s easy for scammers to impersonate real people on social media. Contact your friend to verify they contacted you. Make sure and share this Scam Alert with them if their account is being used to spread false information.

If you’ve spotted a scam, immediately report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams.

Take a look at the entire article as well as find out information on the latest scams at https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/21774-scam-alert-government-relief-checks-trigger-latest-coronavirus-scam.


Jenna Walker
Communications Specialist

(606) 365-3555 Ext: 19405
Email: jwalker@fsnb.net