A Reminder to Stay Cautious

Phishing hook - identity theft

2020 has brought on a lot that weighs heavy on the hearts and minds of so many. Unfortunately, coronavirus related scams are something that bear continuous reminders to ensure people remain cautious and know what to look for. ​​​​​​​

Earlier this year, Governor J.B. Pritzker alerted of an ongoing nationwide unemployment debit card scheme where scammers steal unemployment benefits from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

As reported by ABC7Chicago.com, thieves will apply for unemployment using someone else's name and personal information. Then, they will have the method of payment switched to direct deposit, which means the money is going straight to the thieves' bank account.

If you receive an unemployment debit card that you never applied for, you will need to contact IDES at 1-800-814-0513, the police and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office at 1-866-999-5630.

(To read the article in full, go to: https://abc7chicago.com/illinois-unemployment-ides-debit-card-fraud/6344650/)

In addition to unemployment fraud, the IRS has warned about an increase in additional scams and identity theft related to the COVID-19 crisis.

You can find detailed information on the IRS website about these scams, and we urge you to review the IRS recommendations to help avoid falling victim to any of this fraudulent activity.

According to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig: “The IRS isn't going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster. That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don't open them or click on attachments or links.”

The IRS reminds taxpayers that scammers might:

Go to www.IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.

If you find yourself in a situation that is leaving you uneasy or if you have any questions, we encourage you to reach out to us or consider looking into a company, such as LifeLock, for additional in depth identity theft protection.

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