BBB Alert: Watch out for stimulus check fraud

March 23, 2020 — The United States Treasury Department could soon start issuing relief checks to American families and businesses. Right now – the proposal includes sending two large checks to many Americans and devoting $300 billion toward helping small businesses avoid mass layoffs.

As we wait for word on how this will all work – BBB has a warning. Scammers are already using the relief money to find new ways to trick you into giving it to them.

If you receive a text, e-mail or even a phone call from someone claiming to be from the government with a check for you. BEWARE.

People are already reporting this. These fake messages will claim to be able to deposit $1,000 or more directly into your bank account and will likely ask for your banking information. Do not, under any circumstance, give away your personal information via text, e-mail, or phone.

“This is all a scam. None of it’s true. What’s going to happen is, as soon as you open that text or email or give them information, you’re in a world of hurt for months and years to come, because it’s a rip-off and a scam,” said Jim Hegarty, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa.

If you see this scam make sure you report it to your State Attorney General’s Office and help alert others by using the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker.

BBB remains operational and focused on serving our business community and our consumers throughout this crisis. Please check out resources you can trust at BBB.org/coronavirus.

ABOUT BBB: Better Business Bureau has been assisting U.S. consumers and businesses since 1912. It is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit bbb.org for more information.