S511: COVID-19 Scams: How to Steal a Stimulus Check


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COVID-19 Scams

I wasn’t expecting to be back with a new PRETEND episode so soon. In fact, I’m still wrapping up the final episodes for my new show called CRIMINAL CONDUCT. But the world around us has changed. And scammers are on the prowl.

If you live in the US, chances are you probably received your stimulus payment. It went either straight into your bank account through direct deposit. Or some of you may have cashed the check that you received in the mail.

We’re talking about much-needed money for tens of millions of Americans out of work due to the Coronavirus. $1,200 for individuals and $3,400 for a family of four.

The IRS has sent out 150 million payments so far since the time of this recording… but more payments are still expected to still arrive through the end of June.

And if you haven’t received your check, you’re probably wondering what’s the hold-up? Unfortunately for some, your money is probably gone and in the hands of thieves.

Today, I’m going to show you exactly how easy it is for scammers to steal your money. In fact, I’ve challenged a privacy expert to try and hack into my private information. I was really shocked at what he was able to find.


Password managers

1Password.com (User-friendly and secure)

Bitwarden (More secure cloud-based password manager)

KeePassXC (More secure computer-based password manager)

Search to see if you’re password is exposed in a breached database


Credit freezes

Credit Freeze Tutorial (Full Workbook)

Annual Credit Report (Free credit report to detect fraud)

Enable 2-factor authentication on all platforms that support it https://twofactorauth.org/

Online removal workbook


Additional resources

Michael Bazzell’s website Intel Techniques

Eva Velasquez Identity Theft Resource Center


Story idea?

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