It’s been just a few days since the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act” was signed, and scammers are already coming up with schemes to defraud taxpayers. Specifically, identity thieves are using confusion over the stimulus checks to convince potential victims to turn over personally identifying information.

The Internal Revenue Service will deposit your check into the direct deposit account you previously provided on your tax return (or, in the alternative, send you a paper check). The IRS will not call and ask you to verify your payment details. Do not give out your bank account, debit account, or PayPal account information, even if someone claims it’s necessary to get your stimulus check. It’s a scam.

If you receive a call, don’t engage with scammers or thieves, even if you want to tell them that you know it’s a scam, or you think that you can beat them. Just hang up. If you receive texts or emails claiming that you can get your money faster by sending personal information or clicking on links, delete them. Don’t click on any links in those emails.

Reports are also swirling about bogus checks. If you receive a “stimulus check” in the mail now, it’s a fraud. It will take the Treasury a few weeks to mail those out. If you receive a “stimulus check” for an odd amount (especially one with cents), or a check that requires that you verify the check online or by calling a number, it’s a fraud.

If you have any questions about the CARES Act, or any of the information above, please don’t hesitate to call us at 219-864-7000 or email info@laciak.com.