The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office warned the public to keep a keen eye for scammers attempting to send fake stimulus checks.
“If you receive an offer from someone who wants to send you federal ‘stimulus check’ money by check or direct deposit, ignore it. It’s a scam,” read a fraud alert sent out by the District Attorney’s office.
Last month, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill that includes checks of up to $1,200 for many Americans who have been affected by the novel coronavirus and to provide relief. Funds are expected to be sent to bank accounts for those who received their 2018 tax money via direct deposit and for social security beneficiaries. For those who didn’t the checks will arrive by mail. Because the IRS will use the information it has on file, there is no need to fill out any tax forms.
Scammers have taken this opportunity to target victims by asking for an upfront payment, Social Security number, bank account or credit card information in order to receive the stimulus check.
Fraudsters are also impersonating retailers by sending fake texts or social media posts to offer funds. The message contains a malicious link that could steal one’s information, the District Attorney’s alert read.
Here are some tips the district attorney recommends to follow:
- The government will not ask you to pay a fee to receive aid.
- You will not be asked for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card information.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.