(WKBN) – As stimulus checks make their way to Ohioans across the state from the federal government, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wants to warn residents against possible scammers.
“Thieves are drooling at the thought of getting their hands on your stimulus money,” said Yost. “Use these tips to send them home with nothing but the bitter taste of defeat.”
Yost gave these tips to help keep your stimulus check out of the hands of scammers:
- Know that you don’t have to sign up to get a stimulus payment. For most consumers, the IRS will use information from prior tax returns to calculate payment.
- Don’t fall for scams claiming you need to pay money to receive your stimulus payment. The government will not ask for any upfront payment.
- Watch out for anyone telling you they can get you an instant payment or speed up the process. Do not provide personal information or pay a “processing fee” to supposedly receive a quicker payment. According to the government, payments through direct deposit could go out in three weeks, but it may be longer, especially if you are expecting a paper check.
- Don’t click on links or download attachments unless you have verified the source and know it is legitimate. Doing so could infect your devices with malicious software designed to steal your personal information or lock your computer until you pay a ransom.
- The government will not call you asking for Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers. Also, do not disclose your PayPal information – no PayPal account is necessary to receive your stimulus payment. All payments will be through direct deposit to a bank account or paper check.
- If you receive a stimulus check and it is for an odd amount of money (i.e. $1499.50) or if it states you need to verify the check online or over the phone, it’s a scam.
- You should get a paper notice in the mail a couple of weeks after your payment is sent, letting you know where it was sent and when. If you can’t locate the payment at that point, call the IRS at a legitimate phone number.
President Donald Trump signed the $2.2 trillion economic rescue package last week, calling the bill much-needed relief for American workers reeling from the economic tumult caused by the coronavirus.