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Be Aware of Scams Aimed at Federal Stimulus Payments

Apr 17, 2020

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The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) encourages consumers to be aware of scams aimed at federal stimulus payments now arriving as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Millions of Americans have already received $1,200 or more, and the payments have inspired scams involving predatory emails, calls, and texts.

Seniors are encouraged to be especially careful, as such scams and fraud schemes often target the elderly. The DBO reminds all consumers that no one from the federal government will contact you by phone, email, regular mail or in person asking for information related to the stimulus or Economic Impact Payments. In addition, consumers should only submit tax information directly through the IRS’s official website.

What you should know about the Economic Impact Payments:

  • Taxpayers do not need to take any extra steps to receive their payment.
  • Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 will receive $1,200.
  • Eligible married couples filing a joint return with adjusted gross income up to $150,000 will receive $2,400.
  • Parents will also receive $500 for each eligible child under 17 years of age.
  • Those who received Social Security retirement income, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), survivors’ benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Railroad Retirement benefits in 2019 will automatically receive a $1,200 payment.

Be aware that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official name is Economic Impact Payment.
  • Ask consumers to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text message, or social media for verification of personal or banking information claiming it is needed to receive or speed up the payment disbursement process.
  • Suggest that they can get the tax refund or Economic Impact Payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a fake check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

For more information and resources:

Approved by [name] [month/year]

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Last updated: Apr 24, 2020 @ 3:16 pm