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Sheriff Warns Of COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams



Sheriff Warns Of COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

With many area residents still awaiting receipt of a check issued as part of the national coronavirus economic stimulus package, Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves encourages everyone to be wary of fraud schemes associated with those payments.

"Unfortunately, thieves are regularly scheming on new ways to take advantage of people and a global pandemic allows them an opportunity to capitalize on confusion and fear," stated Sheriff Groves.

"With the passage of the stimulus package, our office reminds taxpayers the Internal Revenue Service will not call or email you to seek personal information or ask how you would like your check issued.  The IRS will issue the payment in whatever manner you generally receive a refund.  So, if you typically receive a refund by direct deposit, that is the manner they will provide this payment as well.  For the unbanked or those who prefer to receive paper checks, that method will be used, continued Sheriff Groves."

"It's also important for retirees, including those who are recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099, to know the IRS will not contact them by phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information in order to issue the check. The payments will be sent automatically and no additional action is needed."

"The Sheriff's Office also asks tax payers to please keep in mind, while some checks have already been issued through direct deposit, the U.S. Treasury Department anticipates it taking several weeks for the issuance and delivery of paper checks.  So, if you receive one now, it could potentially be fraudulent.  If that's the case, please contact your local law enforcement or bank and attempt to verify its validity before cashing and spending it."

"Finally, I urge those with senior parents and grandparents to encourage them to hang up immediately if they receive a call from someone portraying themselves to be a representative of the IRS, the Treasury Department or the Social Security Administration.  Some of these thieves can be good at their con and nobody should feel bad about hanging up on someone trying to steal their money," concluded Sheriff Groves.

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