Today, Friday March 27th, the House of Representatives is expected to approve the coronavirus stimulus package approved on Wednesday unanimously by the Senate and send it to the President for his signature.  A significant part of this legislation is the checks of up to $1,200 per person that will be sent by the Department of the Treasury to most Americans. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin expects the checks to be processed and sent to most Americans within three weeks and while this timetable may be a bit optimistic, it does appear that the funds will be sent out relatively quickly.

The amount you will be receiving is dependent upon your adjusted gross income as listed on your most recent federal income tax return. People with adjusted incomes of $75,000 or less will receive $1,200 or $2,400 for qualifying individuals filing a joint income tax return.  In addition, there will be additional payments of $500 for each qualifying child.  Americans with adjusted gross income of more than $75,000 or $150,000 for a joint return will have their payment reduced by 5% of the amount your income exceeds $75,000.  The payments will disappear for single filers with adjusted gross incomes more than $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children.

The scammers have been waiting for weeks for this to become a reality and they are ready to strike.  Scammers posing as government employees will be contacting you by phone, email and text messages asking you to pay a fee in order to receive your government check.  Other scammers posing as government officials will ask for your Social Security number, bank account number or credit card number in order for you to qualify for a payment.  The truth is that you do not have to do anything to qualify for a payment.  You do not need to pay a fee.  You do not need to apply for  your check.  You do not need to provide any personal information.  Your eligibility will be determined by the IRS and your check will be either wired directly into the bank account you use to receive your income tax refund or if you have not provided the IRS with information about your bank account, your check will be sent to you by mail.  It is as simple as that.


Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.  Whenever you are contacted on the phone, by email or text message, you cannot be sure who is really contacting you.  Even if your Caller ID indicates the call is from a legitimate federal agency such as the Treasury Department, it is easy for a scammer to “spoof” that number and make it appear on your Caller ID even if the call is coming from another number.  In regard to the funds soon to be sent to you pursuant to the coronavirus stimulus package you will not have to make a payment or provide personal information in order to receive your check.  Please share this Scam of the day with your friends and family and let them know about so we can help more people avoid being scammed during this vulnerable time.

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