Remember, scammers take advantage of every situation, including COVID-19, government checks, tax returns, and the Census.
DO NOT fall for these scams!
Learn about the latest scams below, where we’ve collected information from the experts Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
Watch for Stimulus Check Scams
The government is sending out relief checks due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Scammers may be waiting to cash in on yours.
Here are some things to know:
1. You don’t need to do anything. As long as you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, the federal government likely has the information it needs to send you your money. (More on who’s eligible here.)
2. You do not have to sign up to receive your check! Do not give out your personal information to anyone, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information. If you receive a call like that, it is a scammer. Also watch for email phishing scams, where scammers pretend to be from the government and ask for your information as part of the “sign-up” process for the checks.
3. To set up direct deposit of your check, communicate only with the IRS at irs.gov/coronavirus. And you only need to do this if you didn’t give the IRS your bank information on your 2018 or 2019 return. In the coming weeks, the IRS will be setting up an online form available through irs.gov/coronavirus. But nowhere else, and never in response to an email, text, or a call.
4. No one has early access to this money. Anyone that claims to is a scammer. The timeline for this process is not exact, but it looks like funds will start going out in the next few weeks. Scammers are using the lack of detail to try to trick people into giving their personal information and money.
To get official updates and more information, visit the IRS’s page on economic impact payments. And if you come across a scammer trying to take your check, we want to hear about it. Report it at ftc.gov/complaint.