Responding to recent reports that the U.S. Government may send payments by check or direct deposit to Americans in the near future to offset some of the economic damage done by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Trade Commission has offered a list of three important tips consumers should keep in mind to avoid getting scammed.
These are worth reviewing and sharing with employees, family members, and friends.
The logistics of any coronavirus relief package are still being worked out, but here are a few really important things to know, no matter what form it takes, from the FTC:
- The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No charges. No nothing.
- The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- These reports of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
This from Jennifer Leach at the FTC: “Look, normally we’d wait to know what the payment plan looks like before we put out a message like this. But these aren’t normal times. And we predict that the scammers are gearing up to take advantage of this.
So, remember: no matter what this payment winds up being, only scammers will ask you to pay to get it. If you spot one of these scams, please tell the Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/complaint. We’re doing our best to stop these scammers in their tracks, and your report will help.”