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Economic Impact “Stimulus” Payments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department are in the process of distributing the second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) also known as Stimulus Payments. 

These payments will be sent out in waves via direct deposits, checks and prepaid debit cards. Customers can visit the IRS website to review complete details on these payments, as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

First Community Bank encourages you to be vigilant if anyone contacts you regarding these payments. Criminals are using scams in an attempt to defraud recipients of these funds. Neither the IRS nor First Community Bank will call you regarding these payments or ask for your bank account information or Online Banking credentials.

 

See below for the five most common scams to watch out for:

Offering early access to payment

There is no exact timeline for when eligible consumers will receive economic impact payments. Anyone who promises early or fast payment in exchange for personal information is most likely a scammer.

Using suspicious phrases

The IRS has stated the official term for payments is “economic impact payment.” If you receive any correspondence using the phrases “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment,” it may be a clue that a fraudster trying to take your cash.

Sending “phishy” emails or texts.

Government agencies will never correspond through email or text message. If you receive a message with a link asking you to register online in order to receive your economic impact payment, you are most likely being scammed. Do not click on the link.

Making bogus phone calls and sending texts asking for personal information.

Consumers do not need to take any action to receive their economic impact payment. If you receive a phone call or text from someone claiming to be from your bank or a government agency asking to verify your personal information, hang up immediately and call your bank or report it to the IRS.

Mailing a phony check.

Some scammers will send out fake checks—with either the correct or incorrect economic impact payment amount—and require the recipient to verify personal information in order to cash it. The only mail correspondence you should receive will come from the IRS in the form of a letter with information on how the economic impact payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.