CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There is an urgent warning about an email scam tied to the economic stimulus package for the Coronavirus.
The new legislation would send $1,000 checks to Americans across the country. However, WCNC Charlotte is learning scammers are emailing people and telling them their checks are ready.
Then the criminals ask for personal information, including bank account and social security numbers.
A lot of people are in need of the federal checks, but that is not a reality just yet so if you see an email with your check, it’s a scam.
One person sent WCNC Charlotte the email he received from the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject of the email is COVID-19 PANDEMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE. The email promises a $1,000 check as part of the stimulus package.
“I know people are really looking for that help, but the details have not been confirmed yet,” says Shelley Lynch, public information officer for the FBI.
The email asks for personal information in order for the check to be mailed to you. The information includes your bank information and social security number.
“If you know that money is coming to you, they’re going to do anything they can to keep that money from getting to you and steal your money,” says Lynch.
The real checks are part of the economic stimulus package, which U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina voted for on Wednesday.
“We have to make sure people can pay their bills and have some modicum of stability while we combat the virus,” Senator Tillis said.
Senator Tillis says if approved, the checks could be sent out next month.
“We could start pushing the checks out the door through the IRS as early as the first week in April,” Senator Tillis said.
“If someone is offering you whether it’s email, whether it’s a text message, is offering to help you get that money more quickly, that’s a scam,” says Lynch.
Federal officials say the government won’t ask you to pay anything upfront to receive your check.
The FBI said if you believe you have received a scam, report it to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center at this link: ic3.gov