With checks soon coming to millions of residents from the U.S. government as part of the coronavirus stimulus package, some con artists are already hard at work. As many people are hurting financially and urgently need the relief, scammers are seeing this as an opportunity to try to get your personal information. Don’t fall for it.
If someone calls or e-mails you to confirm personal details or ask for your bank information or money, it's a scam. The federal government will never ask you to confirm your information by email, phone, text, or social media, nor will they demand any “processing fee” to obtain or expedite your stimulus payment. Keep an eye out for phishing attempts as well. Do not click on links in email or text messages relating to the stimulus checks.
There are also reports about bogus checks. The checks are at least a few weeks away, so if you receive one in the mail now, it's a fraud. In addition, if the check requires that you verify it online or by calling a number, it’s a scam. The checks will come from the United States Treasury, so a check from a different source (such as “Stimulus Relief Program”) is not legit.
Further, don't engage any scammers, even if you're wise to the ploy. If nothing else, you'll confirm that your email address or phone number are valid. Scammers can then sell that information to other scammers.