Adding to that dilemma is a different kind of problem: scammers who are trying to re-route Americans’ payments by stealing their personal information through unsolicited texts, emails and phone calls.
“The scale of this is enormous…and we’re just in the first inning of this nine-inning ball game,” said Robert Thomas, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and co-founder of the Whistleblower Law Collaborative, while speaking Friday with Emily Rooney on WGBH News’ Greater Boston.
“We are going to see quite a lot of this, it’s going to take a lot of different forms, unfortunately – but I think we’re gonna see two very large waves of fraud. One related to covid 19 … health care and medical issues and another wave … with funny business connected to the stimulus money.”
He said the types of scams proliferating as Americans desperate for financial relief amidst a ballooning unemployment rate were almost inevitable.
“When you try to get financial relief to this many people this quickly, there’s almost no system that you could devise that would be truly secure,” he said. “Speed comes with real vulnerabilities.”