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Don't click on links promising stimulus checks, loans or work-from-home offers

How to get your stimulus check faster
Posted at 10:51 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 10:52:16-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Beware of any emails or text messages you get promising money — whether it’s stimulus money, small business loans or work from home offers.

You should delete these messages, according to a new warning from the Federal Trade Commission, as they could lead you to a scam or a hacker.

“It’s important to remember that scammers will go to any length to make their message seem real,” said Rosario Méndez, an attorney at the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education.

Méndez received a realistic looking WhatsApp message offering work from home compensation.

“This particular text had the logo of the Executive Office of the President of the U.S., a typical scammer tactic to make a message look affiliated with the government,” Méndez said. “It also had a list of people who could supposedly apply for the government grant — basically anyone — and had misspellings and cut off sentences. Now, not all scammers have bad grammar or spelling, but it’s a good tip-off to a scam when you see them.”

Also, when it comes to stimulus check payments and other pandemic recovery help, the government is not reaching out via text, phone, email, or messages to your social media.

If you see one, it’s like a scam, according to the FTC.

Here’s some tips from the FTC:

  • Do not click on any links. Clicking could expose you to scams, download malware, or get your phone number added to lists that are then sold to other bad actors.
  • Delete those text messages immediately.
  • If you have questions about the federal government’s economic impact payment, go to irs.gov/coronavirus.

Report any suspicious text message to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Your report matters. It helps stop scams and alert people about them.