Posted on March 23rd, 2009 in Uncategorized | No Comments »
By Courtney Phillips
It seems every time the government even mentions the phrase “economic stimulus” the scammers’ ears perk up and they are chomping at the bit to start taking the money of unsuspecting victims. Well, the latest stimulus package is no exception and they are striking while the iron is hot.
How does it work? Well, this one is a bit more transparent and less clever than some of the scams we have seen in the past but will still be successful as so few outside of the Beltway actually understand how the stimulus will affect them.
Phone solicitors call unsuspecting individuals and tell them they are with (Insert Fake Company Here) and tell them that, because of President Obama’s stimulus bill, they can receive a reduction in their credit card interest rates if they just provide their information and account numbers.
This is an especially insidious scheme in these tough economic times when everyone is looking for ways to save some cash. Often when they receive such calls, they are inclined to share information they would normally know to keep to themselves in the hopes it will be used to their benefit.
There are also those being told via the post that their business is entitled to a tax rebate through the stimulus package and that they are being assessed by the Small Business Administration regarding their eligibility for such a rebate. And, of course, they are asked for personal information to establish their eligibility.
While these are two of the more common stimulus scams, they are not the only ones out there. These scams will evolve and become increasingly more complex as time goes on and the stimulus package funds are distributed to their respective entities.
What you need to know if you are an individual or small business owner is that, more than likely, you will not personally benefit from the stimulus package and need to vigilant of anyone wanting to exploit your lack of information on the issue. If you are unclear about the distribution of this money, you will want to examine it more closely and do a bit of research to ensure you understand the benefits of the package and what sectors it will cover.