TULSA, Okla. — Scammers are cashing in on the confusion over COVID-19 cash being divvied out by the federal government.
After three rounds of legitimate stimulus payments to many Americans, scammers are counting on people to believe round four is already on the way. The latest scheme tells potential victims the Federal Trade Commission's chairwoman is sending out COVID money.
A fake email, supposedly from the FTC, asks for personal and financial information to make sure the money gets to the correct account.
The FTC said the latest scam looks new compared to what happened a few weeks ago. Scammers go to great lengths to make it look legit.
Some ways include:
- fake documents in emails
- real-looking certificate of approval from the Treasury Department
- letters supposedly from the IRS, saying once you pay the federal taxes on the money, your cash will show up in your bank account.
"What's important if something happens to you, contact your financial institution or card issuer right away," said Colleen Tresslerwith the FTC. "Make sure you lock down those accounts. You may have to open new accounts."
The FTC is not involved in distributing COVID stimulus payments.
- Be suspicious of any email, text, call, or letter from a government agency asking for money or information
- Never pay with a gift card or wire transfer
- check with the actual agency-- look up their number and call to determine if they're really trying to reach you.
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