New scams arise as stimulus checks are expected

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WASHINGTON DC (NEXSTAR) — The coronavirus pandemic is hitting Americans’ pocketbooks and many are just hanging on, waiting for the stimulus check from the government. But, with that, the Federal Trade Commission has a warning about scams related to those checks.

Scammers are working hard to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic: sending emails, calls and texts that appear to be from government agencies. They promise to help people get their stimulus checks faster.

“Don’t respond at all,” said Monica Vaca, Associate Director of the FTC’s Consumer Response Division. She says don’t click on links in emails or on social media. Instead, go to to look up accurate information.

“Right now, there is nothing for people to do to make sure that they get their stimulus payment,” said Vaca. The IRS says its website will soon allow people to check on their payment status, and confirm direct deposit information, but those options aren’t available yet.

Colorado Congressman Jason Crow says most people aren’t required to do that.

“If they have filed their tax returns online, either 2018 or 2019, and they already have their bank account information current with the IRS, then they should automatically get those cash payments,” said Crow.

Payments are supposed to begin next week, but those without direct deposit may have to wait for paper checks in the mail.

“The Treasury Department only has the ability to do 5 million checks a week,” said Crow.

The IRS website will provide people the option of adding new direct deposit information in the coming days.

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