Scammers Preying on Pandemic Fears and Stimulus Money

Many people have been waiting eagerly for their much-needed stimulus check to arrive. For most families, they already know it will go towards unpaid bills and putting food on the table.

Unfortunately, scammers are preying on the desperation this pandemic has brought.

The Better Business Bureau of Evansville is warning the Tri-State about scams to steal personal information. Scammers are pretending to be the federal government needing vital information in order to send a stimulus check.

“This is something that we have been dealing with for the last couple of weeks. It is because all of these decisions are being made on the fly and they change a lot,” explained Oana Schneider with the BBB. “People are not really sure exactly what they need to be doing, where they need to turn to, and that makes them really vulnerable and susceptible to scams.”

Schneider says most people don’t need to do anything to receive their check.

“The very first thing that you need to know is that the government will not call you or email you asking you to click on links; or worse, send you questionable text messages as we have seen in the past. Be very careful with this. They already have all the information through tax returns you have filed in the previous years.” explained Schneider.

“If you don’t regularly file a tax return and you are a senior citizen, you will no longer need to file a simple tax return. They already have all the information. They will send a stimulus check to you directly,” continued Schneider.

The BBB has also received reports of fake testing sites charging people hundreds of dollars. The FBI even busted one in Louisville recently.

“Another turn on the scam we have seen, they tell you that it is mandatory to take a coronavirus test and if you don’t, you will not be receiving your stimulus check. That is false. Please don’t fall for this,” warned Schneider.

If you are ever concerned about an email, phone call or text, you can call the BBB or look up reported complaints through their Scam Tracker.



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