March 30 2020

FBI Warns Scammers Targeting Stimulus Checks

By: Rich Hosford

Scammers work year round and definitely do not take a break during something like a pandemic - in fact they try to take advantage of it. 


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with a number of state attorneys general and other agencies, are warning Americans not to fall for scams being done by phone, texts, email and misleading websites that ask for personal or financial information to receive or expedite the $1,200 federal stimulus check.  


“If someone claims to be from the government with a check for you, it may be a phishing scam that is illegally trying to obtain your bank account or other personal information,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Saturday. “Do not pay anyone who promises that they can expedite or obtain a payment or a loan for you. If you are eligible for relief, you will not need to make any up-front payment or pay any fee to receive a stimulus payment.”


Most Americans will receive up to $1,200 per person in coming weeks, as part of a  $2 trillion stimulus package President Donald Trump signed into law Friday. Along with those checks parents will also receive up to another $500 for each child under age 17.


Higher income individuals and families will receive less money from the government. Individuals making more than $75,000 will have their checks reduced by $5 for every $100 they make over that number. Anyone making more than $99,000 will not receive a check. The income thresholds for couples are double those of individuals. 


According to the IRS there is no sign-up required so anyone contacting you for information on your bank account or anything else is attempting to scam you. Individuals will receive a notice by mail not later than 15 days after the payment was distributed with the amount of the money sent, how it was delivered and how to contact the IRS if the funds were not delivered.


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