COVID-19 Cyber Crime Awareness

Birchwood Financial Partners
Apr 23, 2020 8:39:31 AM

There’s a perfect storm that has emerged for cyber attackers with the passing of the CARES Act and the financial stimulus that is starting to infiltrate people’s households. More specifically individuals are being targeted through phishing emails that are asking people to “click on links” and input important identifying information in order for stimulus payments to be sent.

Both the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) put out alerts warning Americans to watch out for these phishing emails. They are urging caution for emails involving information on Coronavirus relief checks from the stimulus package signed by President Trump and those from groups claiming to be the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, watch out for phishing schemes related to charitable contributions, financial relief, airline refunds, and fake vaccines, cures and testing kits.

Here are just a few reminders:

Don’t Click on Suspicious Links

Look to see if you know the sender of the message. Check email addresses closely, because there can be slight differentiation that make you think you know the sender.

Instead of clicking Unsubscribe on a questionable email, move the email to your spam folder and block the sender.

Beware of Government Impersonators

Government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money. They also will not call or text you for this information.

Receiving Your Stimulus Payment

For those that have direct deposit already established with the IRS, there’s nothing you need to do. If you qualify for any stimulus payment, it will be electronically placed in your bank account on record over the next several weeks.

If you do not have direct deposit setup and wish to, here is the website you’d use to do that:

If it’s already in process (which can also be checked at the above link), then you will not be able to add your banking information and will simply receive a check in the mail in the next several weeks.

Making Donations

Be cautious when donating to causes or organizations that might be unfamiliar to you.

For Those With Schwab Accounts

Schwab takes your security seriously and leverages protocols and policies to help protect your financial assets. Below are actions you can take to reinforce their efforts and resources to assist you in keeping your account safe:

  • Confirm your identity using Schwab’s voice ID service when calling the Schwab Alliance team for support. To set up, contact Schwab Alliance at (800)515-2157; after requesting, you'll receive an email to log into your account(s) and will need to agree to the terms to add this security feature.
  • Use two-factor authentication, which requires you to enter a unique code each time you access your Schwab accounts. To set-up two-factor authentication call Schwab Alliance at (800)515-2157. You have the option to choose how you'd like to receive the authentication code.
  • Review the Schwab Security Guarantee, which covers 100% of any losses in any of your Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity.

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