The U.S. 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 Americans wait for word on how this will all work, the Better Business Bureau has a warning: Scammers are already using the relief money to find new ways to trick people into giving it to them.
If anyone receives a text, e-mail or phone call from someone claiming to be from the government with a check for them, beware.
People are already reporting this. These fake messages will claim to be able to deposit $1,000 or more directly into a bank account and likely will ask for banking information. The Better Business Bureau advises people to not — under any circumstance — give away 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 serving Nebraska, South Dakota, the Kansas Plains and southwest Iowa.
For those who see this scam, they should report it to their state attorney general’s office and help alert others by using the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker.
Other resources may be found at at BBB.org/coronavirus.