CARSON CITY — Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford is warning Nevadans to be alert of scams related to the pending federal stimulus package.
Congress’ economic relief package, in part, proposes to send money directly to individual Americans in response to the financial distress caused by COVID-19. These one-time payments could range from $1,200 per individual and up to $2,400 for joint taxpayers, depending on income.
At this time, there are still questions about how funding will be dispersed. Some Americans may receive physical checks in the mailbox rather than by direct deposit. However, scammers already are using the federal stimulus package as an opportunity to prey on Nevadans.
Fraudsters may leave messages by telephone or social media requesting personal or financial information in exchange for so-called immediate stimulus money through a “grant.” Scammers may ask for other information, including Social Security numbers and confirming of identity to receive their funding. In different variations, scammers promise additional financing beyond the designated stimulus amount in exchange for a small payment or personal information.
“Every day, scammers are finding new ways to impersonate real businesses and agencies and to trick Nevadans,” said Ford. “Using education and awareness as tools to help spot suspicious activity, we can beat scammers.”
The Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has the following tips and suggestions about government scams:
Avoid giving access to your bank account other than those whom you have authorized. Only scammers will demand that you provide them with your personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, debit and credit cards, or PINs in order to receive stimulus funding;
Avoid suggestions of paying any amount of money to receive stimulus. There is no “grant” money. You will not be asked to pay any money, including a “processing fee,” to receive a stimulus check;
Check your mailbox frequently to ward off theft. If your mailbox has a lock, make it accessible to you in the event you receive stimulus funding by a physical check in your mailbox;
Beware of entering your personal or financial information into phishing websites that appear to look like legitimate government websites; and
Do not share personal information with any person or website that asks for it related to the federal stimulus package.
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Nevada Attorney General or with the Federal Trade Commission here. You also may call the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection hotline toll free at 888-434-9989.
The Office of the Attorney General encourages Nevadans to protect their health and personal and financial information. For additional helpful information regarding the status of COVID-19 in Nevada, visit the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services website.