Scam alert! Con artists looking to steal stimulus money, personal information

Posted at 7:49 AM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 08:58:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — During hard times, there are always scammers around the corner trying to rip you off. So we want you to be aware of a new, sophisticated scam involving stimulus checks.

In just one case in Florida, one person mailed out 35,000 fake stimulus checks to lure people to an automotive tent sale. The checks look legitimate, especially to people who are waiting for their money from the government.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers are using texts, email phishing schemes and fake checks to trick people out of money or bank account information. It's also important to note, the stimulus checks are officially called economic impact payments, so any email or text that refers to the money as “stimulus checks” is likely a rip off.

Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself. The IRS will not contact you to ask for your personal information. Hang up on anyone calling you about Stimulus payments. Immediately delete all links, email, texts, and social media messages related to the checks.

You can go online to report any bogus messages to the FTC. Here’s a direct link with instructions