Scam Alert: Calls, Emails, or Texts About Government Stimulus Checks Are Bogus
By Jake Rossen
The federal government is currently in the process of distributing stimulus checks to taxpayers as part of a $2 trillion effort to bolster the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. While no action or effort is needed on the part of citizens, some people might receive calls, emails, or texts prompting them to offer additional information.
Naturally, it’s a scam. According to Business Insider, the Treasury Department is cautioning taxpayers that any entity purporting to be affiliated with the government and asking for their personal data for the purposes of issuing the stimulus check is fraudulent.
On their website, the department states that any solicitation for information or offer to hasten delivery of the check in exchange for a fee is not coming from the government, which usually communicates via the United States Postal Service. Instead, it would be an attempt to steal your private banking, credit card, or other information.
It’s also possible some scammers are mailing out bogus stimulus checks in an effort to prompt recipients to call and offer private information. Since the checks will take weeks to arrive, you should eye such correspondence with suspicion.
Many stimulus checks will be remitted via direct deposit if the IRS has that information on file from a resident’s 2018 or 2019 tax returns. If not, the Treasury will soon have a method to enter that information online. More details are expected in the coming days.
For the moment, the one beneficial online resource regarding stimulus checks is an online calculator that can help determine the amount you can expect to receive. No private information is required.
[h/t Business Insider]