NOTE: The Cape May County Herald is offering full coverage of the COVID-19 / coronavirus emergency to all, with no payment required. We are committed to ensuring our readers can make critical decisions for themselves and their families during this ongoing situation. To continue supporting this vital reporting, please consider a digital subscription or contribution. For more coverage, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Unfortunately, fraudsters are finding ways to take advantage of fears related to the coronavirus. Crest Savings Bank and the American Bankers Association offer the following to help protect yourself:

•Stimulus check or economic relief scams. Should you be eligible for the government’s stimulus check, the money will be sent via check or direct deposit. The government will NOT ask for a fee to receive the funds, nor will they ask for your personal or account information. For the latest information visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus.  

•Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails, texts, phone calls and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with, and NEVER give your password, account number or PIN to anyone.

•Do some research before making donations. Be wary of any business, charity or individual requesting COVID-19-related payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card or through the mail.

•Rely on official sources for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and your state’s health department websites to keep track of the latest developments.

•Remember the safest place for your money is in the bank—it’s physically secure and it’s federally insured. When you deposit your money at a bank, you get the comfort of knowing that your funds are secure and insured by the government. You don’t have the same level of protection when your money is outside the banking system.

•Change your security settings to enable multi-factor authentication for accounts that support it. Multi-factor authentication—or MFA—is a second step to verify who you are, like a text with a code. The "Taxes-Security-Together" awareness campaign is an effort to better inform you about the actions you can take to protect your sensitive data. www.irs.gov/individuals/taxes-security-together

Help others by reporting coronavirus scams. Visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov to report suspected or confirmed scams. You can stay up-to-date on the latest scams by visiting the FTC’s coronavirus page at ftc.gov/coronavirus

For more information about Crest Savings Bank, call 609-522-5011 or visit crestsavings.bank.

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