Kentucky COVID-19 Fraud Task Force warns of scams involving stimulus checks

Kentucky COVID-19 Fraud Task Force warns of scams involving stimulus checks
There have been multiple reports that scammers are impersonating government agencies and contacting Kentuckians about their stimulus checks, also known as “economic impact payments.” (Source: Pixabay, CDC)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Officials from the Kentucky Coronavirus Fraud Task Force are warning Kentuckians about potential scams involving payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

There have been multiple reports that scammers are impersonating government agencies and contacting Kentuckians about their stimulus checks, also known as “economic impact payments.”

The scammers claim to need personal and financial information from citizens in order to see if they are eligible for stimulus checks.

Scammers may also request the information with the promise of processing stimulus checks early.

“I encourage all Kentuckians to remain vigilant and not fall prey to scammers seeking to take advantage of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 national emergency,” said U.S. Attorney Duncan. “The Federal Government will not contact you by telephone seeking your personal information. So, everyone needs to be alert. If you do get contacted by a scammer, report it immediately. We, and our law enforcement partners, are committed to combating this disgraceful conduct and holding perpetrators accountable for these appalling scams.”

The Federal Trade Commission released information and tips regarding stimulus check scams.

As well, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued guidance regarding the processing of stimulus checks.

Follow these tips to avoid falling prey to scams involving payments from the CARES Act:

  • Do not provide your personal or financial information, including your social security number or bank account information, to an unknown source.
  • Be wary of anyone who asks for payment up front in exchange for a stimulus check. You will not be required to provide advance payment in order to receive your check.
  • Always verify the source of the information regarding the CARES Act or stimulus checks. Consult legitimate government websites with “.gov” domains, such as IRS.gov, for the latest information regarding payments.

If you are contacted by a scammer, report the scam immediately to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257 or fill out an online scam complaint form.

Kentuckians may also report online scams and fraud to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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