CHICAGO (CBS) — In the latest digital scam, crooks are looking to use the U.S. Census to get their hands on COVID-19 stimulus money intended for unsuspecting victims.
Here is how it works: A message sent by text, email or social media claims that to get a stimulus check, the target of the scam needs to complete the 2020 Census.
Don’t click on the message, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Some versions of the phony message include a link to a website for more information. Clicking that link could infect your computer or phone with malware. The virus can give scammers access to your usernames, passwords, and other personal information stored on the device.
In other cases, the link may take a victim to a website that looks like it is the official Census Bureau. However, the website is a fake. The target of the scheme is asked to provide personal information, such as Social Security number and bank account information. The Census Bureau does not ask for this information.
“With so much going on at once scammers are using the unique circumstances to sow confusion,” said Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois . “Their goal is to get their hands your money or personal information, which they can use to steal your identity.”