Economic Stimulus Scams

Scams Mimic Government Stimulus Package
February 10, 2009

Summary

Two phishing scams:

  1. Identity thieves posing as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service are sending spam e-mails promising government economic stimulus packages.
  2. Another scam that is being used promises more information on how to get “economic stimulus grants.”

Details

Identity thieves posing as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service are sending spam e-mails promising government economic stimulus packages. The message tells the user to download an attachment that is masked as a form they must fill out and send to the IRS to receive their check. However, the document really is an identity theft tool that steals the personal information entered in the form.

Another scam being used promises more information on how to get “economic stimulus grants.” They tempt users with fake testimonials such as, “I found the grant I needed and filled out the forms and sent them in, and in about two weeks I received a check in my hand for $100,000.” It leads to a marketing-type site in which you enter personal information such as salary range, e-mail address, mailing address, and date of birth purportedly to get a free CD that shows you how to claim one of these grants. To order the CD, you must enter credit card information for the postage and handling costs. You never get the CD—only a stolen identity.

Unfortunately, the threat of fraud due to phishing attempts continues to be very active. Fraudsters are increasing in sophistication, and this type of activity shows no sign of slowing down. In these economic times, it is even more critical to continue educating members on the various ways fraudsters try to obtain their personal information for financial gain.

Recommendations

  • NuVision will NEVER solicit personal or financial information.
  • NEVER respond to requests for information unless you initiated the request. This includes requests via e-mail, phone, text messaging or through the mail.
  • Work with your Internet provider or telephone carrier to shut down fraudulent sites or phone numbers.
  • Report suspicious activity to the FTC. Forward the actual spam to spam@uce.gov. If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft web site www.ftc.gov/idtheft to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from identity theft.

Visit www.ftc.gov/spam to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam.

PLEASE NOTE: NuVision Federal Credit Union will never send e-mails requesting your credit union username, password, pin number, or other personal identity information.

If you receive such an e-mail solicitation that appears to be from NuVision, please forward it to phishing@nuvision.coop or notify our Member Services Department at 800.444.6327 immediately. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Member Services Department.

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