It might not surprise you to learn that scammers are already attempting to profit off of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, this means we all must pay close attention to potential phishing emails at this time, because it’s easy to fall for a phony message when you’re feeling stressed and hoping for relief. These tips can help you protect yourself and your network from hacking attempts. Reviewing them with employees is also a good idea.

1. Remember that the IRS has provided a web page for you to inquire about your potential economic impact payment. Go to to learn more. Always navigate directly to their site, and don’t follow links offered by emails. Other suspicious emails might appear to originate from the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control. Those organizations wouldn’t have any reason to request personal information from you.

2. Scammers might refer to these impact payments by some other name, like “coronavirus check” or “stimulus check”. The IRS calls it by its official name, “economic impact payment”. Of course, scammers might figure out that we’re savvy to their slang, so use precautions even with emails that contain the correct terminology.

3. Never provide your bank account information through a link in an email, text, or social media message. You should only provide that information directly to the IRS. And remember, if you already provide your bank account information to the IRS when you file your taxes, they shouldn’t be asking for it again.

4. If you use your mouse to hover over a sender’s name, their email address will show.

5. Look for the lock symbol or “https:” in the address bar of any website you use. This will help to ensure that you’re actually on the IRS website, your tax service’s site, or other legitimate web pages.

6. Be wary of other identity theft schemes. Scammers might not go after your impact payment directly by pretending to be the IRS. Other types of phishing emails, texts, and even social media messages might be designed to gain access to personal information, which could then be used to steal your identity. Once this happens, the hacker can sell your information or use it themselves to file fraudulent tax returns.

7. It’s not just about what information you enter. Simply clicking a phony link in an email can result in malware installed on your computer.

Stay safe, and remember we’re still here to help you with your internet security questions. Just give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH and we’ll be happy to help you safeguard your network and data.