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Consumer First Alert: Stimulus check scams

(KKTV)
Published: Apr. 12, 2020 at 10:06 AM CDT
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In a Consumer First Alert, Action 2 News is here to help you avoid stimulus check scams.

The U.S Treasury Secretary says most of those $1200 stimulus checks are set to hit accounts starting this week if you have direct deposit.

We're being asked to stay safer at home, but scammers are out in full force and the FTC says those scammers are playing off of confusion over stimulus payments.

There are THREE emerging scams to let you know about:

TEXT MESSAGE:

A text message that looks like it's coming from the IRS. The message says ‘your economic relief check is ready and all you have to do is click the link to confirm.’

POSTCARDS:

Another scam is postcards with a password to be used online to access or verify your payment or direct deposit information. Not real!

OVER PAYMENT SCAMS:

The FTC says to watch out for over-payment scams, in other words a check for more than what you were expecting (it might look official, but it may not be real). The scammers in this case will tell you to keep your $1200 payment and return the rest by sending cash, gift cards or money transfers. That's a scam! The IRS will not send you an over-payment check.

The IRS or will not contact you to get your personal information or bank account. Do not click on links. Don't respond to emails, or text messages.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

You do not need to pay money to get the government relief payment.

A warning about a scam targeting small businesses.

The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin is warning to watch out for fake offers for loans. It looks like it's coming from the Small Business Administration or an attorney representing the SBA. The BBB says they can come in a text, email or phone call. It says the SBA is offering grants for small businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The application looks simple but it asks for a processing fee up to a couple thousand dollars. It's a scam.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection put out a warning about scammers using emails and social media to pitch fake vaccines and at home testing kits for the coronavirus. It is urging everyone to be extra vigilant and report the fraud to help flatten the scam curve.