Every week, it seems like there’s a new scam trying to catch us off guard.

This week, we’re hearing from people who are receiving a text message from an unfamiliar phone number that says their “$1200 COVID ID benefits were rejected by the bank.” The text instructs them to tap on a link where they are asked to enter their online banking username and password or their account information. 

This scam, like all scams, is set up to prey on hope. Many of us facing unemployment or income insecurity are hopeful that Congress will act on another direct payment to Americans. Getting a text message like this triggers our emotions into thinking that there is $1,200 out there waiting for us to claim, we just need to follow the link and do what we’re told. And even if you aren’t facing income issues, $1,200 sounds all right!

But, if you can take a breath and let your brain catch up to your emotions, you’ll see all sorts of problems with this text message:

1.       There is no such thing as a “COVID ID benefit.” The government has been very specific in labeling the payments that many of us received this spring and summer as Economic Impact Payments (EIP). Careless wording is our first clue that this might be a scam. If you receive text messages, emails, or social media posts about COVID ID benefits, stimulus checks, stimulus payments, or anything besides Economic Impact Payments, do some work and make sure it isn’t a scam.
2.       Congress has not acted on a second round of EIPs. Sending another round of payments is currently a political football being kicked from branch to branch and party to party in our government. This is one situation where paying attention to the news is very helpful. If you already received your EIP, then there is no magic $1,200 payment out there waiting for you. If you were eligible for a payment in the first round and haven’t received it, check out this post for more information. 
3.       Unless you have specific e-alerts set up to receive account notifications via text message, you will not receive communication from Multipli via text message. We would never send you a text to report a problem about posting a payment to your account. We will never text you a link asking you to go to a website to confirm your identity or resolve a problem. 
4.       Remember, we will never, ever ask you for your online banking username and password to confirm your identity. Never. Really. Please don’t share that information with ANYONE!

If you ever get a text message, email, phone call, or social media post that feels fishy, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (417) 865-3912 and we will gladly talk through it with you and do all we can to make sure it isn’t a scam. 

Remember: take a deep breath, let your brain catch up to your emotions, and don’t become a victim to a scammer!