Coronavirus: Scammers seek to steal stimulus payments and identities

Friday, April 10, 2020
Scammers seek to steal stimulus payments
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They'll promise to get you your stimulus check faster -- but really, scammers are out to steal your money and identity. Here's what to look for.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With each passing day comes more and more reports of coronavirus scams. One of the most common is thieves trying to get your stimulus check -- or use it to steal your identity.

Millions of Americans are eager to get their stimulus checks -- and scammers know that too. They're using that anxiety to trick you but you can outsmart them. Don't fall for it.

Beware of emails promising to get your stimulus check quicker. There's no way to get your check faster. These are phishing emails. If you click a link, the bad guys may install malware into your computer and use that to steal all the personal information you have on it. You may also get a text or email claiming you must verify personal information in order to get your check. Or that you must pay a fee to the IRS before you can get your check. None of that is true. The IRS will never ask you to verify information. The checks go out automatically, and there are no fees to get your money.

"More people are likely to lose money to a scam when they are socially or physically isolated from others. they're actively engaging online and financially vulnerable. So this is truly the trifecta for scams," said Lori Wilson of the Better Business Bureau.

The bottom line is, you will get your check automatically. No fees, no verification required. And if you receive any messages saying otherwise, don't fall for it.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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