Stimulus checks become target for scammers

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, scammers aren’t taking a day off.

The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South has received 40 reports of people using the COVID-19 stimulus payments as a way to scam people.

“One person told us about a phone call saying that her student loans qualified her for immediate COVID-19 relief, but she didn’t have any student loans,” said Nancy Crawford with BBB.

They know these are uncertain and anxious times for many which makes you even more vulnerable.

“There’s a lot of confusion regarding these stimulus payments and the scammers and crooks are going to play on that confusion,” Crawford said. “They’re going to play on our emotions by not wanting to miss out on this payment.”

The BBB says scammers are contacting people through text, phone, email or social media asking for bank or personal information to ensure they receive their payment.

Crawford said anybody who tells you they can get you your stimulus payment immediately in exchange for information or fees is a scammer.

There’s only one official source to get information about stimulus payments and that’s irs.gov.

“If you think about all the millions of Americans who are waiting for these checks, they’re not all going to arrive at the same time,” Crawford said, so being patient and remaining informed is the smartest thing you can do.

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