SUNRISE, Fla. – Millions of Americans have received their stimulus payments. But for those who don’t have their money yet, they are waiting, but so are thieves.
Because where there is money, there are people trying to take it.
Victoria Funes, the associate state director in Florida for the AARP, said that scammers are out in force trying to reroute your money to them.
“A lot of our members are calling our Fraud Watch network to ask about these things; it is obviously running rampant nationwide. It’s very important to not open any link or website," warns Funes. "They do make it look legitimate. The IRS is not going to be calling you,” she stresses.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody released a list of tips telling Floridians to never:
- Respond to text messages, emails or ads directing you to click on a link.
- Provide any personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited message.
- Trust caller-ID displays claiming a call is from the IRS — as spoofing technology allows scammers to change phone displays to impersonate government agencies.
- Make any advance payment in order to secure or expedite access to a benefit.
For those not getting direct deposit and who will be getting paper checks, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recommends you check your mailbox every day. If you are going to be gone for any length of time, have a neighbor or friend retrieve your mail. They say the longer you leave mail in the mailbox, the more susceptible you are to having it stolen.
USPS also offers a tool called Informed Delivery. You can digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive. Informed Delivery allows you to view grayscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mail pieces and track packages before they arrive.