Spring has sprung, and we’ve successfully finished another quarterly planning meeting. This time, we went up to the Ridgetop Clubhouse, outside scenic Placerville. The views of the Crystal Range were outstanding, and being able to walk in the peaceful woodlands was rejuvenating to the spirit. Good job, team!
Congratulations to our own Susan Soesbe, winner of the 2021 Excellence in Business award form the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce!
The entire team is proud to work with such a dedicated professional, and look forward to many more years with her. Thank you to the Rainbow Chamber for honoring us all here at Soesbe Financial through this award.
For more information on the Rainbow Chamber, visit them online at https://rainbowchamber.com/
Now that Congress has passed a last-minute Covid-19 relief bill, folks will start receiving assistance funds. And that means scammers are primed and ready to take as much of those funds as they can. Here’s an excellent article by Megan Leonhardt at CNBC that outlines the most common scammer tactics:
5 common stimulus check scams experts are warning consumers to watch for
Americans lost over $211 million to Covid-19 scams and stimulus payment fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Since January, the agency has received over 275,600 complaints.
While fraud activity is down from the highs recorded earlier in the year, it will likely pick back up now that President Donald Trump has signed the $900 billion pandemic relief package, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.
That’s because the legislation includes provisions for a second round of stimulus payments, up to $600 per individual, including dependent children under age 17, if you’re an individual who earned less than $75,000 ($150,000 for those married filing jointly) in 2019. Stimulus payments start to phase out if you earned more than that, stopping completely for those with adjusted gross incomes of $87,000 or more ($174,000 for married couples).
The IRS is expected to initiate direct deposits of stimulus payments before Thursday and send out paper checks and debit cards by Jan. 15. And while Trump signed the relief package slightly later than expected, a senior official told CNBC on Monday that the payments will go out on the same timeline.
Yet the lingering uncertainty surrounding the second round of stimulus payments creates the “the perfect storm for fraudsters trying to make a dishonest dollar,” says Ashley Moody, Florida’s attorney general. On Monday, Moody’s office put out a notice cautioning the public about the increased potential for scams.
“Scammers are always looking for new opportunities, like the passage of another round of federal stimulus, to rip off consumers,” Moody says.
Here are five common red flags that experts say could signal a stimulus check scam.
1. Unsolicited calls or emails
Spoofing technology has made it easier than ever for scammers to impersonate anyone, including government agencies. In order to protect yourself, most experts recommend that consumers avoid picking up any calls from unfamiliar phone numbers — let them roll into voicemail for further scrutiny.
“I’d be very wary of any inbound emails or phone calls that are supposedly from the IRS, Treasury Department, a state unemployment benefits agency, etc.,” says Ted Rossman, a credit industry analyst with CreditCards.com. If you do get a call or message that you think is from a government agency, initiate a separate means of communication, Rossman says. For instance, call the agency back at a number you trust or is listed on their official site, rather than replying directly to a call or email.
If you do answer a call, and it’s about your stimulus payment, keep in mind that U.S. government agencies won’t ask you to pay anything up front to receive your funds. “Anyone who does is a scammer,” writes Jennifer Leach, associate director for the FTC’s division of consumer and business education.
Additionally, government agencies “won’t call, text, email, or contact you on social media to ask for your Social Security, bank account or credit card number,” Leach says. Again, if you receive messages asking for this information, it’s likely a scam.
Read the full article here:
Our first Annual Strategic Planning meeting is in the books!
The team took off for 3 days and met in the beautiful Gold Hills country in the Sierra foothills. It was a LOT of hard work, but 100% worth it. Afterwards, we relaxed and took in some of the beautiful countryside.
It’s going to be a great year!
The FDA has approved a covid vaccine for emergency use. Please continue to socially distance, wash hands often, and wear masks around others. This pandemic is no joke.
FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine
Action Follows Thorough Evaluation of Available Safety, Effectiveness, and Manufacturing Quality Information by FDA Career Scientists, Input from Independent Experts
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older. The emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S.
“The FDA’s authorization for emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Today’s action follows an open and transparent review process that included input from independent scientific and public health experts and a thorough evaluation by the agency’s career scientists to ensure this vaccine met FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. The tireless work to develop a new vaccine to prevent this novel, serious, and life-threatening disease in an expedited timeframe after its emergence is a true testament to scientific innovation and public-private collaboration worldwide.”
Video Meetings Are Now Standard!
Until more definitive science is known about his terrible COVID-19 pandemic, Soesbe Financial is meeting with clients remotely only. We are pleased to offer secure video conferencing via our robust business video application; all clients need is a computer with a webcam and internet access.
Once restrictions are eased, we will offer in-person meetings once again, in addition to our now-standard video meetings. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please call us directly at 916-587-5100.
Soesbe Financial is complying fully with all federal and state COVID-19 guidelines for businesses. Until further notice, we have discontinued all in-person visits and will be meeting with clients remotely via phone and webconference only. Please call us directly at 916-587-5100 if you have any questions or concerns.