CLEVELAND (WJW)– Scammers are eyeing your stimulus money before the checks are even printed.
Do not fall victim to phone calls, texts, emails or websites that ask for personal or financial information in order to receive your federal payment.
Ohio Attorney General David Yost said, “The IRS is not going to call you. The IRS sends letters in official-looking envelopes. It tells you exactly what’s wrong and what they’re going to do to you.”
Yost says some schemes include paying someone who calls with a promise to expedite or obtain a payment or loan for you.
If you are eligible for relief, you do not need to make any upfront payment or pay a fee to receive your stimulus check.
In addition to the Ohio Attorney General, the FBI, right now, is seeing a rise in fraudulent schemes related to the coronavirus pandemic including fake airline carrier refunds and phony testing kits.
Cleveland FBI special agent and spokesperson Vicki Anderson said, “Criminals taking advantage of, they are preying on people’s emotions.”
Anderson said be cautious of fake CDC emails or anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19.
She said beware of the counterfeit products as well.
Anderson said, “If you see something from the Centers for Disease Control, and you’re interested in it go out of your email and go to that website. That way you know it is a legitimate website.”
Bottom line, experts say use good cyber hygiene and security measures.
People who file tax returns electronically and have already provided the IRS with their bank information will likely get their payments, up to $1,200 for most Americans, through direct deposit.
Paper checks are expected to take longer to mail out.