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Safety & Security

June 10, 2020

At PeoplesBank, part of our commitment to you is making you aware of current scams and how you can protect yourself from falling victim to fraud. We encourage you to review the information below so you have the knowledge to recognize these scams and avoid them in the future.

Unemployment Benefits Scam

In a large-scale scam erupting in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits, using the names and personal information of people who have not filed claims. People learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer about their supposed application for benefits.

If this happens to you, it means someone is misusing your personal information, including your Social Security number and date of birth. Time is of the essence, so you will want to act fast. Here are steps that can help you protect your finances and your credit:

  1. Report the fraud to your employer.
    Keep a record of who you spoke with and when.
  2. Report the fraud to your state unemployment benefits agency.
    You can find state agencies here.

    • If possible, report the fraud online. An online report will save you time and be easier for the agency to process.
    • Keep any confirmation or case number you get. If you speak with anyone, keep a record of who you spoke with and when.
  3. Visit gov to report the fraud to the FTC and get help with the next important recovery steps.
    These include placing a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit, getting your free credit reports, and closing any fraudulent accounts opened in your name.
  4. Review your credit reports often.
    For the next year, you can check your reports every week for free through com. This can help you spot any new fraud quickly.

IRS Tax Scam

The IRS advised taxpayers to be on the lookout for new variations of tax-related scams. In the latest twist related to Social Security numbers, scammers claim to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s SSN. Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN. If you receive a call threatening to suspend your SSN for an unpaid tax bill, you should hang up immediately. This is a scam.

The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific method, such as prepaid gift cards or wire transfers. The IRS does not accept these methods of payment.
  • Ask a taxpayer to make a payment to any person or business other than the U.S. Treasury.
  • Threaten to immediately get law-enforcement involved to arrest the taxpayer.
  • Demand taxes be paid without giving the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

You can report the caller ID and callback number to the IRS by sending an email to phishing@irs.gov with “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line. You can also reach the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you have questions regarding actual amount owed, and payment options.

Coronavirus Treatment Scams

If you see an ad that says a product can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19, stop. Think to yourself: if there’s actually been a medical breakthrough, am I really going to hear about it for the first time from an ad or sales pitch? The answer is clearly “no.” So train yourself to ignore those types of false ads.

The majority of the scams target “treatments” offered in clinics or medical offices, including intravenous (IV) Vitamin C and D infusions, supposed stem cell therapy, and immunity boosting shots. All of these products and treatments have one thing in common: there is no evidence — as required by law — that they work against the Coronavirus.

If you see a product claiming to treat, cure or prevent Coronavirus, please report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

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