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Government warns of fraudulent stimulus check phone calls

Government warns of fraudulent stimulus check phone calls
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 17:09:36-04

The Federal Trade Commission said Americans should be weary if they receive a phone call regarding their stimulus check. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government issued $1,200 checks to millions of Americans with a number of businesses closed.

The FTC is warning that scammers could potentially try to trick you out of your personal information. The agency says that fraudsters rig caller ID to make the number appear to come from a government hotline.

“Government agencies usually will not call or email you — especially about something related to money. They almost always contact you by US mail,” the FTC said.

The IRS is sending letters to Americans as a confirmation for receiving the stimulus check.

The FTC says that scammers will claim to be calling over something such as Medicare, Social Security, or in this case, your stimulus check, and will ask for personal information to verify.

“If you get a call or email from the IRS or any government agency asking you for personal information or money, that’s a scam. Hang up the phone or delete the email,” the FTC said.

If you have questions about your stimulus check, you can call an IRS hotline at 800-919-9835.

The IRS said earlier this month that 159 million Americans have received a stimulus check. The IRS is still working on sending out the remaining checks to qualified Americans.

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