Attorney General warns about coronavirus relief check scammers
As the coronavirus public health crisis takes a growing toll on Coloradans, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser today issued a consumer advisory warning that scammers are already trying to take advantage of Coloradans by using the checks the federal government is scheduled to send many Coloradans as a part of the coronavirus stimulus package as bait to encourage Coloradans to share bank account numbers or other sensitive personal information.
"As Congress worked to complete the first COVID-19 economic stimulus package, scammers were already working to deceive Coloradans and take advantage of those eagerly awaiting federal relief," said Weiser. "It's important to remember that the federal government hasn't issued a single stimulus check yet and will not call you on the phone to ask for sensitive personal information. Anyone who calls claiming to be able to send money now, and asks for your personal information, is a scammer."
The following are some ways to protect yourself from government check scams:
• Don't respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being finalized. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
• Don't click on links from sources you don't know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
• The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money.
• The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
Most Americans will receive up to $1,200 per person in coming weeks, as part of an historic $2 trillion stimulus package that was signed into law Friday. Parents will receive up to another $500 for each child under age 17.
If you are eligible for a payment, you will receive a payment directly from the IRS. The IRS specifies on its website that no sign-up is required, and there is no need to call. The agency will post additional information, when it's available, at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
If you notice any scams, fraud, price gouging, or other attempts to take advantage of Coloradans during this public health emergency, contact Stop Fraud Colorado at 800-222-4444 or StopFraudColorado.gov.