FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -The ink is barely dry on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES, approved by Congress, but state and federal law enforcement members of the Kentucky Coronavirus Fraud Task Force are already warning about scams.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and the FBI, have reported that scammers are impersonating government agencies and contacting Kentuckians about their stimulus checks, up to $1,200 per person, also known as “economic impact payments.”
The scammers claim to need personal and financial information from citizens in order to see if they are eligible for stimulus checks. Scammers may also request the information with the promise of processing stimulus checks early.
“Within a few days of the passage of the CARES Act, scammers have already started using the promise of relief to exploit Kentuckians by trying to steal their personal and financial information,” Cameron stated. “These despicable actions have no place in Kentucky, and we are working diligently with our federal partners to stop scammers and fraudsters. I encourage anyone who comes in contact with one of these scams to report it immediately to our office.”
To avoid falling prey to scams involving payments from the CARES Act:
--Do not provide your personal or financial information, including your social security number or bank account information, to an unknown source.
--Be wary of anyone who asks for payment up front in exchange for a stimulus check. You will not be required to provide advance payment in order to receive your check.
--Always verify the source of the information regarding the CARES Act or stimulus checks. Consult legitimate government websites with “.gov” domains, such as IRS.gov, for the latest information regarding payments.
If you are contacted by a scammer, Cameron says to report it immediately to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257 or fill out an online scam complaint form.
Kentuckians may also report online scams and fraud to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.