Stimulus check scams: What to avoid

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(WSPA) – Americans lost $221 million this past year to COVID 19 scams and stimulus payment fraud according to the Federal Trade Commission.

And scammers are back at it with this latest round of stimulus checks, especially since millions have been delayed.

SCAM TEXTS:
Watch out for bogus texts claiming to help you track your stimilus check by clicking on a link to “access benefits.” This scam tries to lure you into giving up your private information or even downloading malware on your phone.

FAKE CHECKS:
The better business bureau also warns about another type of stimulus check scam.

“Basically they send you a fraudulent check, the scammers do, and you think it’s real because it looks real and you actually take it to the bank and cash it and a couple of days later they’re following up with you to tell you that they have paid you more than you’re supposed to get and you have to send them this money back,” said Vee Daniel with the BBB.

It is not until the check bounces days later that you realize you are out of money.

BOGUS CALLS/EMAILS:
The Treasury Department also is warning about emails or phone calls pretending to be from a government agency like the IRS. These agencies would not be contacting you if you haven’t contacted them first.

FAKE FEE:
And, finally, if anyone tries to get you to pay a fee to get your stimulus money, that’s a big red flag. You should not have to pay to get your check.

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