|This post is shared as a COVID-19 resource on our resource page at www.abc-usa.org/coronavirus. Visit this page to find helpful resources and information, and see regular updates from American Baptist regions and national partners.
April 7, 2020
For many of us, the anticipation of a government check brings some welcome relief to unemployment, cut wages, or other hardships faced during this pandemic. For some of us, it provides great opportunity to support others and to give to the ministries we love.
My first concern is that for those who need this help the most, scammers are waiting to help themselves. According to our ABCGI Bookkeeper Eric Herzog, here are some key signs to look for that indicate a scam. Please help others be aware.
· Emphasizes the terms “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses the official term “economic impact payment.”
· Asks the individual to sign over their stimulus check.
· Asks by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information to receive or speed up their stimulus check.
· Mails the individual a fake check and requests the individual to call a number or verify information online to cash it.
Then for my first hope—that especially in this time we will be God’s generous people and a light to the world.
· If you need 100% of your economic impact payment, good. Use it well.
· If you need it, but can be generous, tithe to your church and give a bonus gift.
· If you don’t need it, how will you give it away? Your church and ABCGI will be impacted through these financial struggles. Our Ministerial Excellence Fund will be supporting pastors whose churches cannot afford to pay them. The Edna Martin Christian Center’s programs and day cares are closed, but the food pantry is open daily.
As we seek to be God’s people in the midst of fear and stress, let us hold on together. As our first missionary Adoniram Judson said, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.”