Stimulus Check Scams Happening Locally
As the government prepares to distribute stimulus checks to eligible Americans, scammers are also emerging to take advantage of a vulnerable public. Citizens are reminded to exercise vigilance to protect their personal information from such callers.
“An employee’s husband received three calls yesterday asking for routing and account number information in relation to the stimulus checks,” said David Murphy, VP of Finance & Risk at Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union (MMCCU). “We want to remind everyone that these calls are fraudulent and that the IRS will not be calling to gather this information to deposit those stimulus checks.”
Details of distribution are still being worked out, and for right now, here’s what you need to know about the stimulus checks:
You don’t need to do anything. As long as you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, the federal government likely has all of the information it needs to send you your money. If you haven’t filed taxes recently, you’ll need to submit a simple tax return to get your check.(More on who’s eligible here.)
There is nothing to “sign up for” to get your relief check. Anyone calling to ask for personal information like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information is a scammer. Do not click on any emails asking for this information, either. The government will not email you.
Communicate only directly with the IRS at irs.gov/coronavirus. You’ll only need to do this if you didn’t give the IRS your bank information on your 2018 or 2019 tax return. The IRS will not contact you via email, text, or call.
No one has early access to this money. Anyone that claims they do is a scammer. 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, the government wants to hear about it. Report it at ftc.gov/complaint.
“If you are unsure of something you hear about the stimulus package, we’re here to help,” said Murphy. “Continue to be diligent in protecting your financial information. Use your intuition and best judgment if someone contacts you about the stimulus package or providing financial assistance. Your local financial institutions are here to provide sound advice to help protect your finances. Stay safe during this time.”