NEWS

CONSUMER ALERT: Watch for Potential CARES Act Payments Scams

Apr 2, 2020, 10:54 AM by AG Schmitt
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is warning Missourians of potential scams that could target possible payments from the federal government to some Missourians as part of the recently passed CARES Act. While the money has not yet been disbursed to those who are eligible and won’t be for several weeks, federal agencies and the Missouri Attorney General's Office are monitoring potential scams that may try to take advantage of those payments.

“While the federal government is trying to get relief to Missourians, scammers are working to steal that money or personal information through phony texts, phone calls, or emails,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Remember, the federal government will not attempt to contact you and ask you to sign up to receive your check through text, phone call, or email. Be vigilant, and visit irs.gov/coronavirus if you have questions.”

The Federal Trade Commission posted more information relating to these scams on their website yesterday, which can be found here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/want-get-your-coronavirus-relief-check-scammers-do-too?utm_source=govdelivery

In most cases, Missourians don’t have to take any action in order to receive this payment from the federal government. As long as a person filed taxes in either 2018 or 2019, the federal government will use information from those tax filings to direct deposit the checks into a person’s bank account. 

If Missourians have a reason to believe that the federal government does not have their direct deposit information, they should visit irs.gov/coronavirus. That is the only placeMissourians should provide personal information in order to receive their stimulus check if they’re eligible. 

Texts, emails, and robocalls have already been spotted seeking to take advantage of these payments. Missourians should know that the federal government will NOT send texts, emails or call asking you to “sign up” to receive your stimulus check. This is a ploy to gather your personal information. 

There is also no way to get your check “early,” so any claims made by individuals or companies that you’re eligible to get your check early or that they can get you your check early are a scam. 

Missourians can report these scams to the Missouri Attorney General's Office at 800-392-8222 or at ago.mo.gov, or to the FTC at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Video of the Attorney General’s PSA on this issue can be found here and used with attribution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnuN49dZMww

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