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As your trusted financial partner, we would like to take a moment to inform our members to be on the lookout for scammers attempting to take advantage of emotions and fears surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. Please review the information below. Don’t be a victim!

Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus Checks)

In the coming weeks, eligible taxpayers will be receiving a letter from the IRS at their last known mailing address within 15 days after the stimulus payment was made. Details will be provided on how the payment was made along with information on how to report any failure to receive the payment. There are complete details on who is eligible along with additional information that you need to know on the IRS website. If you are unsure about whether you are receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists. Please be advised that scam artists will see this as an opportunity to steal personal information and money. Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-CI, Charlotte Field Office recently said, "I urge the public not to fall victim to fraudsters attempting to steal Economic Impact Payments being sent out. The IRS will not call, text, email or otherwise contact you to ask for your information. This money is meant for you. Don't fall victim to scammers”. Additional information may be found on the links below:

Attorney’s Office Alert

IRS Economic Impact Payments

Phishing Attempts on the Rise

There has been an increase in the number of unsolicited emails, phone calls, and text message attempting to exploit individuals during this difficult time. Smart Financial will never call, email, or text you to ask for account numbers, social security numbers, passwords, or personal identification numbers (PINs).

Phishing Red flags

• Authority – Is the sender claiming to be from someone official (e.g., your bank or doctor, a lawyer, a government agency)? Criminals often pretend to be important people or organizations to trick you into doing what they want.

• Urgency – Are you told you have a limited time to respond (e.g., in 24 hours or immediately)? Criminals often threaten you with fines or other negative consequences.

• Emotion – Does the message make you panic, fearful, hopeful, or curious? Criminals often use threatening language, make false claims of support, or attempt to tease you into wanting to find out more.

• Scarcity – Is the message offering something in short supply (e.g., concert tickets, money, or a cure for medical conditions)? Fear of missing out on a good deal or opportunity can make you respond quickly.

 

More information may be found on the websites below:

FTC Scammers Alert

FTC Giving Alert

CISA Email Attachment Alert

CISA Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks

Report COVID-19 Fraud here