Both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Maryland Comptroller’s Office are warning about criminals taking advantage of people’s urgent need for government stimulus checks.
Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If you receive calls, e-mails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, an advance fee, or a charge of any kind—including the purchase of gift cards—please do not respond. These are scams.
Victims have reported scammers are using language such as “in order to receive your/your client’s stimulus payment via direct deposit, we need you to confirm the banking information,” then directing you to click on a link to a website or call to enter personal information. Note that:
The IRS is not going to call you asking for bank account information. It will either be automatically deposited using account information the IRS already has from your tax filings or they will send you a check in the mail.
The government will also not ask you to pay anything up front to get your check. No one can expedite your check for you.
You do not need to “sign up” to receive your stimulus check.
The government will also not call or e-mail you to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
If you think you are being targeted, you should contact the FBI so that the scammers can be tracked and stopped.
Resources: CNBC Television, Federal Trade Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Comptroller of Maryland