Economic Stimulus Checks and Tax Rebates: How can we be sure to get our check safely? Among the many phishing emails (that attempt to lure you to a website to gain personal or financial information) and schemes on the Internet, one of the newest is an email message that appears to be from the Internal Revenue Service, talking about economic stimulus checks, and what you should do in order to get your tax rebate check. How can you protect yourself and what should you do if you get this message? Read more about this phishing scam and how to protect your income tax rebate check.
Many of us are looking forward to our Income Tax Rebate check, or as they are now referred to, Economic Stimulus Checks. But many of us are also confused about the many facts and myths surrounding this check.
(Hopefully, instead of spending all my check, I will have some to put aside to pay off bills or place in a nice safe savings account, like my mattress. But first, the check has to arrive safely. As a result, I decided to do some research myself and find out what I could about the Economic Stimulus Check and dispel the myths surrounding it, and find out the facts for myself.)
The Economic Stimulus Check is actually a tax rebate check, designed to return money to the tax payer as a result of the many income tax changes that have recently occurred. The payments are sent out over the course of a four week schedule, with the specific date of transmission or mailing determined by the last two digits of your social security number. For those tax payers who filed electronically and had their tax refund direct deposited (or payment direct withdrawal) your income tax rebate will be direct deposited to your bank that was used for your deposit or payment. For those who mailed in their taxes, or payment, or those who filed electronically but had fees withdrawn (such as processing fees for filing electronically or for direct depositing) a payment will be mailed according to the same schedule as those direct deposited, but it will take longer for your payment to arrive.
How much is the tax rebate payment? Here are the scheduled payment amounts: $600.00 for individual taxpayer, $1200.00 for married filing jointly, and a possible $300.00 per qualifying child, born after December, 1990. But what many people do not know is that their possible tax rebate may be offset by back taxes owed, unpaid student loans and several other government factors. You won’t know until your return arrives or is direct deposited and receive a breakdown of the payments what your total rebate will be.
How can we be sure to get our check safely? Among the many phishing (emails that attempt to lure you to a website to gain personal or financial information) schemes on the Internet, one of the newest is an email message that appears to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Like many other phishing scams this message appears to be authentic and legitimate. It even has an address very close to the IRS.gov address.
Without careful research, consumers may easily be drawn in. This message, like many of its counterparts, especially those used to gain bank account information, provides you with a link to a website and the instructions to “click the link below and needed to click on a link and fill out the necessary information to receive your 2008 Stimulus Economic Refund.” This link sends you to a phishing site and then obtains your name, address, telephone number and social security number. Much like the IRS.gov site, it also request information on the number of dependants listed on the return. It also request banking information to verify a direct deposit.
Don’t be fooled. If you receive a message like this, do not open it and you need to immediately forward it to email@example.com. This message can contain viruses harmful to your computer, or simply be a phishing scam. Not only can the information be used to steal personal and financial information, but it could also provide a thief with all they need to intercept your Economic Stimulus check or even to steal your identity.
To help in your detection of phishing scams, you may wish to explore antivirus software that also provides phishing scam detection, such as Stopzilla, F-Secure Internet Security Suite, or AVG Internet Security (one of the for pay products) Trend Micro PC-cillin and many more antivirus products are designing their software to detect and stop phishing scams before they can do harm to your computer, information and credit. Our website has many product reviews and comparisons to help you find the product protection right for you and your family.
For more information on the Economic Stimulus Check visit IRS.gov and have all your questioned answered on their frequently asked questions page as well as legitimately check the status of your check.