FTC warns of coronavirus stimulus check scams
The Federal Trade Commission is warning residents to beware scams involving their coronavirus stimulus checks.
“Scammers are using these stimulus payments to try to rip people off,” the FTC warned. “They might try to get you to pay a fee to get your stimulus payment. Or they might try to convince you to give them your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number.”
The FTC provided four tips to prevent getting scammed:
1) “Only use irs.gov/coronavirus to submit information to the IRS - and never in response to a call, text, or email.”
2) “The IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number. Anyone who does is a scammer phishing for your information.”
3) “You don’t have to pay to get your stimulus money.”
4) “The IRS won’t tell you to deposit your stimulus check then send them money back because they paid you more than they owed you. That’s a fake check scam.”
Most people won’t have to do anything to receive their stimulus money, the FTC said. Many will get their payments the same way - whether its direct deposit, express debit cards or paper checks - the government sends other payments.
If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information, you can go to the “Get My Payment” feature at irs.gov/coronavirus and enter it there.
Those who don’t file tax returns can also insert their information via the same website.
All scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.