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Warnings about Stimulus Checks and other Coronavirus Fraud Attemps

Updated: Apr. 9, 2020 at 8:05 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The IRS has indicated taxpayers could see stimulus checks in the next three weeks. But you may need to be on the lookout for crooks trying to get their hands on your money and other personal information.

Law enforcement and consumer advocates are issuing more warnings that the government stimulus plan to help you get through hardships caused by the coronavirus, is enticing crooks to look for another way to get your cash.

Some people may be out of work and an extra $1,200 or $2,400 could come in handy. But U.S Attorney Jay Town said there are people out there looking to defraud people out of their money.

“Calling and saying your stimulus check is coming in June. Give us a hundred dollars or confirm this personal identification information about yourself or your banking number or routing number. Then we will send it to you today,” Town said.

It’s not just individuals who are being targeted but small businesses as well.

“They are going to help you process your loan for a small processing fee. That the government is requiring them to collect and the small fee is usually thousands of dollars,” Carl Bates with Better Business Bureau of Central and South Alabama said.

Even the BBB has been used in a recent ploy, by saying the consumer group is selling sanitizer materials.

“Certainly people need to know the Better Business Bureau is not in the businesses of selling anything,” Bates said.

The US Attorney and Better Business Bureau are urging you not to give out personal information over the phone or social media. “We ourselves are the best line of defense. If you don’t want to be a victim of coronavirus fraud, you really need to take care,” Town said.

Don’t believe anyone contacting you over social media, text messages or email trying to help you get a check or buy something you might need during the Covid-19 crisis. Don’t let anyone threaten or badger you into giving information claiming to be the government or a representative of the government.

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