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Beware stimulus check scams

The federal government hasn't issued a single stimulus check yet, but scammers are already trying to steal the money from Americans.

Posted: Mar 28, 2020 11:22 AM

(CNN) -- The federal government hasn't issued a single stimulus check yet, but scammers are already trying to steal the money from Americans.

These criminal efforts are prompting the Federal Bureau of Investigation, multiple state attorneys general and other agencies to warn Americans not to fall for phone calls, texts, emails or websites that ask for personal or financial information in order to receive the $1,200 federal payment.

"If someone claims to be from the government with a check for you, it may be a phishing scam that is illegally trying to obtain your bank account or other personal information," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Saturday.

"Do not pay anyone who promises that they can expedite or obtain a payment or a loan for you," James continued. "If you are eligible for relief, you will not need to make any up-front payment or pay any fee to receive a stimulus payment."

Most Americans will receive up to $1,200 per person in coming weeks, as part of a historic $2 trillion stimulus package President Donald Trump signed into law Friday. Parents will receive up to another $500 for each child under age 17.

The payments will start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000. The amount will then be reduced by $5 for every additional $100 of adjusted gross income, and those making more than $99,000 will not receive anything.

The income thresholds are doubled for couples. About 90% of Americans are eligible for a full or partial check, according to a Tax Policy Center estimate.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday told CNBC that Americans will start receiving the money within three weeks, but tax experts say it could take longer than that for the Internal Revenue Service to process the payments.

Those who file their tax returns electronically and provide the IRS with their bank information will likely get their payments earlier via direct deposit. Some 88% of individual returns were filed electronically in 2018.

Paper checks are expected to take longer to mail out.

The IRS specifies on its website that no sign-up is required, and there is no need to call. The agency will post additional information, when it's available, at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

The stimulus law specifies that recipients will receive a notice by mail no later than 15 days after the payment was distributed, which will indicate the amount of money sent, the method by which it was delivered and a phone number to call at the IRS if the funds failed to arrive.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3582320

Reported Deaths: 53083
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119601721676
Riverside2904983849
San Bernardino2870552959
Orange2617983966
San Diego2613533342
Santa Clara1110761798
Kern103756915
Fresno957851451
Sacramento937901498
Alameda809501271
Ventura77952870
San Joaquin671231150
Contra Costa62931695
Stanislaus56433953
Tulare48114768
Monterey42335329
San Mateo39148521
San Francisco34387422
Santa Barbara32147420
Solano30216165
Merced29264407
Sonoma28261301
Imperial26926638
Kings22091220
Placer19911232
San Luis Obispo19751238
Madera15523214
Santa Cruz14736183
Marin13285198
Yolo12867185
Shasta11054179
Butte11007167
El Dorado9195100
Napa908072
Sutter889998
Yuba577638
San Benito577061
Lassen562324
Tehama510452
Nevada398874
Tuolumne396659
Mendocino382643
Amador347441
Humboldt323033
Lake316941
Glenn223223
Colusa214013
Calaveras191849
Siskiyou178414
Inyo132137
Mono12144
Del Norte10085
Plumas6536
Modoc4604
Mariposa3957
Trinity3735
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We begin a cooling trend with rain & snow returning Friday evening into Saturday morning. More wet weather is expected next week with cold temperatures.
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