Scammers turning to online schemes to steal your stimulus check

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Scammers are using a variety of online schemes to steal your stimulus check from you.

With tens of millions of dollars’ worth of direct deposits and stimulus checks slowly making their way into people’s bank accounts and mailboxes, criminals are using this time to take advantage of people.

One scam involves a call supposedly from the IRS saying it needs help getting you the money. That is not true.

“The IRS will directly deposit it into your account or send you a check or debit card,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “They will not call you and ask for your bank account information or your social security number. If someone does that they are a criminal and you should hang up.”

Another common scheme to steal your stimulus cash comes in the form of a text message.

The criminals will try and social engineer you by using a friendly pre-message like “Check this out”.

Then you’ll get a follow-up text asking you to click a link, don’t do it, because that link will lead you to a phony site that’s meant to capture your personal information like your social security number.

“Your social security number is the real key that a lot of people want to get into a variety of things,” said Tim Maniscalo of the Better Business Bureau.

To try and combat those stimulus scams the Federal Trade Commission has an online warning about the different kinds of stimulus scams out there.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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