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Beware stimulus check scams

Paper checks are expected to take longer to mail out.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 12:27 PM

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.

RELATED: Trump signs $2.2T stimulus after swift congressional votes

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: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
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Windy & sunny conditions continue Sunday with more sunshine next week. Next weekend there will be a chance for some showers.
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