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COVID-19 Relief Payments - Protecting Against Scammers

Coronavirus Fraud Image

U.S. Congress enacted a relief package to help with financial challenges from COVID-19. Individuals and couples below certain income thresholds will receive a direct payment of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with an additional benefit of $500 for every child.

The Treasury will be issuing direct deposits to those taxpayers that received their tax refunds by direct deposit.  They have also stated paper checks are anticipated to go in several weeks. Payments are based on 2018 U.S. Tax Returns, or 2019 U.S. Tax Returns if those were filed.

Taxpayers will receive a notice by mail shortly after the payment is sent, which contains information about where the payment was sent and if it was a direct deposit or a paper check. The notice will have a contact number for the IRS.  All the payment rules and restrictions are available at U.S. Treasury website

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have raised concerns about scammers and fraudsters that impersonate federal employees and ask you to verify personal account information in order to receive a payment. It is The Savings Bank’s upmost priority to protect you and your personal information.

Signs of potential fraud include:

  • If you receive a check and you received your tax return by direct deposit.
  • If you are asked by call, text, email, pop-up message or letter for your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number. The government will not contact you for this information.
  • If you receive a call, text or email from anyone stating they can help expedite your stimulus check.
  • If you are asked to pay anything up-front (fees, charges) to get this money. The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money.
  • If someone calls stating you need to complete the U.S. Census before you are eligible for your relief payment.

What Should You Do To Protect Your Personal Information?

ASK YOURSELF: why would my bank or the government need to contact me for my personal information to make or receive a payment. They already have it.

HANG-UP: if you receive a telephone call from someone who claims to be from a government agency asking for verification of personal information.

DELETE: a pop-up message, email or text that directs you to call a certain number or visit a website to verify personal information.

VERIFY: phishing emails are near replica websites of a trusted or well-known institution such as a bank or a government agency. When in doubt, you should initiate contact through a known telephone number or website.

Report Any Attempted Theft

Contact law enforcement immediately if you think you’ve been a victim of a COVID-19 scam.

If the scammers are posing as being connected to the bank, please contact The Savings Bank Call Center at 800-246-2009.

For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center and the FCC Scam Glossary. You can also file a complaint about such scams at