BBB warns consumers of COVID-19 stimulus check fraud

BBB says they have already started receiving reports on fraudulent stimulus activity

KAUZ News Channel 6 @ 10pm - clipped version

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be on alert as they wait for COVID-19 stimulus relief checks to arrive.

“This is top of mind for a lot of Americans that are waiting on this stimulus money so pretty much anyone can be a victim,” said Monica Horton, President of the Better Business Bureau of North Texas.

According to the BBB, between 2019 and 2020 there has been a 21 percent increase of scam reports in North Texas, including government scams.

“Some reports are telling us about phone calls that are coming in and they say that they need to verify your information before they can send something out so their posing to be with a government agency,” said Horton.

According to the IRS, U.S. residents should only expect to receive stimulus checks being delivered via three methods.

“A direct deposit into your account, I know their sending out like cards that they put the money on or paper checks, “said Joey Fino, Fraud Specialist, Texoma Community Credit Union.

However, residents that are expecting to receive paper checks need to be extra vigilant when that check arrives in the mail.

“There was a few checks that came in that had a letter with them explaining that this was a stimulus check or a relief package check they were to cash it but send a portion of it back,” said Fino.

According to the IRS residents will receive $600 for individuals, $1,200 for couples who file taxes together and $600 for each dependent child under the age of 17. Eligibility for 2020 stimulus relief will be based on 2019 tax returns.

The BBB urges consumers to never give out private information and report suspicious activity to the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker, to keep others from falling victim at the hands of scammers.

To find out more information on the BBB scam tracker, visit their website.

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