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Beware of stimulus check scams

People across the country have already began to see stimulus check scams sent by text message and emails
Credit: WZDX

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Scammers are still out there even during a global pandemic. Stimulus checks are supposed to be sent next week, and scammers are now on high alert.

"What we're seeing is people posing as members of the Department of Treasury, or the IRS, or some government agency calling and asking for personal information," says U.S. Attorney Jay Town, Northern District of Alabama.

Town says examples of those include social security numbers, dates of birth, and routing and banking account numbers.

"Anything that would allow you to or quickly receive your stimulus check. That's the pitch, but it's a fraud," says Town.

Stimulus check scams have been sent through text messages, robocalls and emails.

"The federal government is going to have a 'gov'. that's going to be how our email addresses or how our websites end," says Town.

Town says there's also some more savvy and sophisticated ways to trick people.

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"A lot of times we may see a lot of scams that are 'IRS one' dot gov and it's sort of coded incorrectly and people think it's legitimate," added Town.

Town believes your best line of defense is to use common sense.

"Contemplate before you click, investigate before you give over any information about yourself and your family members and deliberate before you donate to a charity or crowdfunding site that at least proclaims to be helping those in need during this pandemic," says Town.

Town also warns people to be cautious of false test kits sold online.

If you believe to be a victim or attempted victim of fraud, you can call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721