’It’s morally reprehensible’ Scammers work to steal stimulus check money

The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana is urging residents to be on the look...
The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana is urging residents to be on the look out for anyone who might be trying to steal a portion of a COVID-19 economic relief payment.(None)
Updated: Apr. 16, 2020 at 2:03 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) -The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, David Joseph, is urging residents to be vigilant, as economic impact payments hit bank accounts across America.

“It’s morally reprehensible, it’s inconceivable to most Americans that people can try to take advantage of their fellow Americans in this time of national emergency,” Joseph said.

Joseph warns scammers often take advantage of perilous periods of time and prey on those needing the most help. In this case, for example, a person who lost their job and needs this check desperately to pay bills and put food on the table.

“What makes this particularly frustrating is that we’re all trying to pull together to get through this, some are making that harder,” Joseph added.

Scammers, who are often located internationally or out-of-state, will call or send emails to their victims, asking for personal information, a fee, or even impersonate a government worker. Information such as bank account numbers, social security and addresses are all possible requests.

“The government is never going to call or email them about these payments," Joseph said. "These checks will show up in their accounts via direct deposit or they’ll receive a check in the mail from the U.S. Treasury.”

There are ways to report scammers to the government and Joseph’s office. This is what you can do:

  • Call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline: (866) 720-5721
  • Email disaster@LEO.Gov
  • Call Seth Reeg, the Western District of Louisiana fraud coordinator: (318) 676-3600

Joseph also highlighted IRS.Gov is the only legitimate source to check on the status of your stimulus payment.

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