Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks)
As part of the economic stimulus package approved by Congress and President Trump, Americans will begin receiving an economic impact payment in the next couple of weeks. Scammers are aware and looking to obtain your personal information. Here are a couple of things to remember:
- The government will NOT call, email, or text you and request you verify your personal information to receive your payment.
- Do not give anyone your personal information to “sign-up” for your payment. There is nothing to sign up for. Anyone calling to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security number, PayPal account, or bank information is a scammer.
- If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, you do not need to do anything. The IRS will use this information to calculate your check amount and will direct deposit or mail your check to your address on file.
- No one has early access to this money. Anyone that claims to is a scammer. The timeline for this process is not exact, but it looks like funds will start going out in the next few weeks. Scammers are using the lack of detail to try to trick people into giving their personal information and money.
- For more information about the COVID-19 economic impact payments, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
COVID-19 Test Kits and Vaccines
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is actively and aggressively monitoring the market for anyone marketing products with fraudulent COVID-19 diagnostic, prevention and treatment claims as part of their ongoing efforts to protect public health during this pandemic.
- At this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent COVID-19. Visit the FDA to learn more https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/counterterrorism-and-emerging-threats/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
- If someone calls or texts you claiming to have COVID-19 home test kits or vaccines, it’s a scam.
- Do not give anyone your personal information, including banking information to pay for and to receive a test kit or vaccine.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
As medical professionals and first responders continue to work on the front lines for the health and safety of our communities, personal protection equipment has become scarce. Unfortunately, scammers are trying to sell unauthorized or fake masks, gowns and other personal protection equipment. Please remember:
- If you are looking to purchase personal protection equipment, check to make sure you are purchasing items from a well-known and reputable company. Check to make sure the product you are purchasing is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is. People claiming to have products that no other legitimate source can access are most likely scammers.
- When in doubt, check it out. Some scammers may be offering products that look like the original manufacturer’s items but aren’t. If you can’t verify the legitimacy of an item, don’t make the purchase.