COVID-19 Causing Increase in Scams, FBI Warns. Here’s What You Should Know.

April 2020

Government agencies including the FBI are warning that fraudsters are creating new scams based on the pandemic and recent announcement of the stimulus payments. Scammers may try to get you to sign over your stimulus check to them or use this opportunity to try to trick you into “verifying” your IRS tax filing information in order to receive your money.

What to Know

  • The IRS will not call and ask you to verify your payment details. Do not give out your bank account, debit account or other account information—even if someone claims it’s necessary for your stimulus check.
  • Delete without clicking on any texts or emails claiming you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links.
  • There have been reports of bogus checks. Do not expect to receive a check until mid-April at the earliest, and for the latest information, check If you receive a “stimulus check” for an odd amount (especially one with cents), or a check that requires you to verify the check online or by calling a number, it’s fraud.

What to Do

  • Be aware of this increase in scams related to coronavirus and stimulus payments.
  • Practice good cyber hygiene, including:
    • Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don't recognize.
    • Do not provide your username, password, date of birth, Social Security number, financial data or other personal information in response to an email or robocall.
    • Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
    • Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a ".gov" ends in ".com" instead).
  • Review additional information on scams, view this recent FBI alert.
  • If you are a KeyBank personal or business client who followed a link or called the phone number in a suspicious text message and provided any KeyBank account or personal information, immediately contact Key’s Fraud & Disputes Hotline at 1-800-433-0124.

This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual advice.

KeyBank does not provide legal advice.