Beware of coronavirus stimulus check scams via text, email, phone calls

‘No government agency will ever ask you to pay money to get your stimulus check faster,’ sheriff says

Confusion continues over coronavirus stimulus checks. We answer some common questions

As Americans receive their government stimulus checks during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s creating an unfortunate scenario where some might be taken advantage of.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister released a public service announcement Friday, advising residents to be on the lookout for unsolicited texts, emails or phone calls from criminals who are trying to steal their money.

“It’s unfortunate that during a global pandemic there are still people out there looking to prey on others,” Chronister said in the video message. “Everyone is vulnerable to scams during these troubled economic times.”

Chronister warned people not to click on links that claim there’s an update on the status of their stimulus check.

Chronister said people should be leery when someone asks for their financial information or Social Security number over the phone or electronically.

“Remember, no government agency will ever ask you to pay money to get your stimulus check faster,” Chronister said. “Following these tips will help keep you and your money safe.”

The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package, signed into law last week by President Donald Trump, aimed at combating the economic ravages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Anyone earning $75,000 or less will receive $1,200 as a direct deposit into their bank account, distributed by the IRS.

Married couples who make less than $150,000 a year will receive $2,400, plus $500 for every child under 17.

Those who earn more than $75,000 but less than $99,000 will receive money as well, but the amount will be reduced by $5 for every $100 they make over $75,000, according to the IRS.

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