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BBB warns of fake government relief checks

Fishery management council warns of phishing scam
Posted at 1:42 PM, Mar 20, 2020

The Better Business Bureau has announced another scam alert after the announcement this week from the U.S. Treasury Department that it could soon start issuing relief checks to American families next month to offset lost income from the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to a release from the BBB, scammers are taking advantage of the announcement and there are already reports on BBB Scam Tracker about government impostors calling about the checks.

The BBB is advising residents to be wary if they receive a message or see a social media post claiming to be from the government, and that you qualify for a special COVID-19 grant.

That link may send someone to what seems to be an official government website, and will ask you to enter your personal information and/or banking details.

The BBB states that some reports they are seeing are scammers claiming that they will be able to deposit $1,000 or more directly into someone's bank account, which is a scam.

The BBB is offering tips to Spot a COVID-19 Grant Scam:

  • Remember: Government agencies do not communicate through social media avenues like Facebook. And be aware of unsolicited messages.
  • Do NOT pay any money for a ‘free’ government grant: If you have to pay money to claim a ‘free’ grant, it is not really free. A real government agency will not ask you to pay an advanced processing fee. The only official list of all U.S. federal grant-making agencies is www.Grants.gov.
  • Do your research: See if that government agency or organization actually exists. Find their contact info and call them to make sure it’s legitimate.

For more updates on potential scams, visit www.BBB.org/ScamTracker.