Scam Alert: FTC issues warning on $1,000 coronavirus relief payments that don’t exist yet

“No matter what this payment winds up being, only scammers will ask you to pay to get it.”

Scam Alert: FTC issues warning on $1,000 coronavirus relief payments that don’t exist yet
(Source: WBTV File)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - While federal lawmakers work to hammer out the details of an economic stimulus package that could put $1,000 or more in the pockets of Americans, one government agency is warning consumers - don’t fall for a coronavirus con.

The Federal Trade Commission says these checks aren’t even a reality yet, so anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.

“Normally we’d wait to know what the payment plan looks like before we put out a message like this,” writes Jennifer Leach, Associate Director of the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education. “But these aren’t normal times. And we predict that the scammers are gearing up to take advantage of this.”

Better Business Bureaus across the country are already getting reports of government check scams.

The FTC says the government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money: no fees, no charges, no nothing.

“No matter what this payment winds up being, only scammers will ask you to pay to get it,” Leach wrote on the FTC’s website on Wednesday.

The government also will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number, so anyone who does is a scammer.

If you spot one of these relief check scams, be sure to report it to the Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/complaint.

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