It seems that con artists never take a break, even during a worldwide pandemic. Due to emotions running high, and the promise of billions in economic impact payments, many have devised clever schemes to get their hands on personal information or even cash. We wanted to share these signs of a scam with you, so that you can avoid falling victim to one of these plots.

The IRS, CDC, WHO, and other official organizations won’t be contacting you. If you receive a call or email from one of these organizations, regard it with extreme suspicion. We recommend hanging up the phone or deleting the email right away.

The IRS does not need to call you in order to get information. If you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, they have everything they need in order to process an economic impact payment (if you’re eligible for one). Those who filed their tax returns electronically will receive a direct deposit into their bank accounts; everyone else who is eligible for a payment will receive a check in the mail.

If you do want to check on whether you’re eligible for a payment, or you wish to provide bank account information to the IRS, you can do that safely via their website at www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Con artists might refer to a “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment”. The proper term is “economic impact payment”. Remember that you do not need to do anything in order to qualify for a payment, other than file a 2018 or 2019 tax return.

Charity solicitations might be fake. It is admirable that you want to help, but check the IRS list of approved charities before donating to any funds. Fraudsters know that when we’re feeling emotional, we are more likely to make quick decisions. Research charities fully before donating to anyone, so that you can be sure your money is going where you intend for it to go.

Tests, vaccines, or preventive treatments should come from your doctor only. Don’t let fear of coronavirus infection spur you to purchase questionable medical products. The FDA has not yet approved any treatment, preventive, or vaccine for coronavirus. When they do, you will hear about it through your doctor.

One home test has been approved, but you can’t order it yourself. It will be available upon order by your doctor or an official coronavirus testing facility.

Don’t give in to financial worries. If you’re feeling anxious, we’re here for you. Let’s schedule a consultation to discuss your current situation and decide if you should make any strategic moves regarding your financial future. That way you can avoid any sudden, emotional decisions that don’t truly support your long term goals.

This does not constitute an offer to buy or sell any security. Investments in securities are not suitable for all investors. Investment in any security may involve a high degree of risk and investors should review all “Risk Factors” before investing. Investors should perform their own due diligence before considering any investment. Past performance and/or forward looking statements are never an assurance of future results. Investment products, Insurance, and Annuity products are not FDIC Insured/Not Bank Guaranteed/Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency/May Lose Value. Always read the prospectus before investing.

Securities and Advisory Services are offered through Client One Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC and an Investment Advisor. Benchmark Financial Group, LLC and Client One Securities are not affiliated companies.

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