Watch Out for Check Scams and Payment Fraud. Protect Yourself with These Tips:

As of March 30, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that the distribution of the economic stimulus check are on their way in the form of automatic payments. The stimulus checks, much like a tax refund, will be handled by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you’ve filed your taxes recently using the e-file method, the money will be automatically transferred to your bank account through direct deposit. For legitimate information go to the IRS website for the latest information at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

Through this link, you can learn about stimulus check eligibility, how to enroll to receive the payment automatically, and what to do if you do not have direct deposit and more.

However, watch out for check scams and payment fraud. Protect yourself with these tips:

  • Your bank or the IRS will never contact you for personal information. So don’t give out any sensitive information like your name, address, Social Security Number, or banking information.
  • Do not pay anyone to enroll in the economic impact payment program!
  • You won’t need to click through links or register for any online program. Be wary of apps that have popped up solely about the coronavirus. Those apps could have malware and be collecting personal information.
  • You’ll never be threatened. Any unsolicited phone call claiming to have information about stimulus payments is already fishy — especially if they are tough-talking ones.

Anyone who believes they’ve been victimized can call their bank, local authorities and/or the federal disaster fraud hotline. The hotline’s number is 866-720-5721 and its e-mail is: disaster@leo.gov

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