by Jennifer Leach
Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Congress has just passed another bill to help the people whose finances are taking a beating from the pandemic. Once again, some of us will be getting money by check or direct deposit. The timing and details are still TBA, but here’s what we know:
- The government won’t ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- The government won’t call, text, email, or contact you on social media to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- There’s no such thing as getting your money early, or faster. Anyone who says they can hook you up now (or soon) is both lying and a scammer.
We know from the early days of the CARES Act that scammers will be using numbers 1, 2, and 3, above, as part of their playbook. So, if you spot someone who says any of these things, you (a) know they’re a scammer; (b) can warn someone you know about the scam, because (chances are) they’ll get that call, text, or email, too; and (c) can tell the FTC so we can work to stop scammers and warn people about them: ReportFraud.ftc.gov.